07 September, 2008

Vetting Sarah Palin

The mainstream media has been telling us that Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) was not vetted properly by Senator John McCain's (R-AZ) campaign. There's a term in psychology for this. It's called projection.
the attribution of one's own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects; especially : the externalization of blame, guilt, or responsibility as a defense against anxiety
Make no mistake, the mainstream media (I prefer "old media" actually) was snookered by John McCain and even though Palin's name has been mentioned several times during the VP search, they didn't do their homework on her. Now they see that this pick may turn the election around and they're feeling guilty about it and in a state of panic.
As I write this, it's been about 10 days since we first learned that Palin was McCain's choice.  And in those 10 days every lefty in America with an internet connection or a phone has been trying to get the dirt on Palin. Let's see how they've done.
  • She lied about the “bridge to nowhere”. FALSE. And FALSE. And FALSE. And FALSE. And FALSE.
    The worst you can say is that she was for it before she was against it.

    She changed her mind, he said, when "she saw that Alaska was being perceived as taking from the country and not giving, and that impression bothered her and she wants to change it. … I think that Sarah Palin is someone who has the courage to reevaluate situations as they developed."
    I added more links to this one because it refuses to die.

  • She lied about Trig. He isn’t really her baby! FALSE.

  • She was a member of a secessionist party. FALSE.
    And unsourced. Good job here, old media. And now retracted.

  • Troopergate. DEAD END.
    To be fair here, this is only news to mainstream America. Most bloggers and the media, left and right, knew about this "mini-scandal".

  • She hired a lawyer to help her with Troopergate. FALSE.
    This is a legal proceeding, and typically the Governor would be represented by the Attorney General. He felt he had a conflict of interest, so directed the state to hire a lawyer for her.  All perfectly reasonable and above board.

    The state has hired a private lawyer to represent Gov. Sarah Palin's office in the Legislature's investigation into the firing of former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. The lawyer already has challenged whether lawmakers even have authority to oversee the inquiry.

    The state Department of Law hired Thomas Van Flein, an Anchorage attorney with expertise in employment law and professional liability, because Attorney General Talis Colberg has a potential conflict of interest and shouldn't represent the governor, Van Flein said Monday.
  • She has refused to testify in Troopergate and is blocking the investigation. FALSE.
    The only investigation she has refused to cooperate with is the one that has no legal jurisdiction. She has made it quite plain that she is more than willing to follow AK's laws in this matter. So, the left is criticizing her for obeying the law. This whole "investigation" is a witch hunt and is based upon a crime without a victim. The supposed victim is required by law to file a formal complaint if he feels he has been the victim of of an ethics violation. He has not done so. In fact, he has repeatedly stated that no one pressured him to fire the trooper. This really should be the end of the story. The fact that it isn't shows that this is all about politics and not about reality.

  • Archives of her newspaper aren’t available online and haven’t been accessed by anyone locally. FALSE.

  • She is a supporter of "Nazi Sympathizer" Buchanan and anti-Israel. FALSE. And FALSE. And FALSE.
    It's worth pointing out that this smear comes directly from the organization of Mr. FightTheSmears himself.  Classy.

  • She is tight with corrupt and indicted Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK). FALSE. And FALSE.
    Yes, I know she directed a 527 for him in 2003. But that was before she got fed up with corruption and ran for Governor against Stevens' pal former Governor Frank Murkowski (R-AK). Stevens has never forgiven her for that. He endorsed her a mere 3 weeks before the general election, long after Murkowski had been defeated in the primaries, and frankly, when it was obvious she was going to win.

  • She's in the pocket of "Big Oil". FALSE.

  • She cut funding for teen mothers. FALSE.

  • She pushed to have creationism taught in schools. FALSE.

  • Peggy Noonan said that the campaign is over and that McCain has lost. FALSE.

    But, I argued, that's over, those assumptions are yesterday, the party can no longer assume that its base is utterly in line with the thinking of the American people. And when I said, "It's over!" — and I said it more than once — that is what I was referring to.
    Now, it's true that Noonan thinks that Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) would be a better choice, and she's entitled to her opinion. But, as she has said already about Palin:

    [H]er candidacy will be either dramatically successful or a dramatically not; it won't be something in between.
    As far as I know, the only "right-wing" pundits that has come down hard against the Palin selection are Charles Krauthammer and Mort Kondracke. Mort often takes the "liberal" side on Fox (I get the impression his heart isn't really in that), so his criticisms should be taken with a grain of salt. Krauthammer has been consistently negative on her selection. I'd link, but he's written about it numerous times, and continues to do so, so the links would quickly become out-of-date. Use your favorite search engine on "Krauthammer Palin" if you're curious.

  • She claimed that the Iraq war is 'a task that is from God'. FALSE

  • She cut the budget for Alaska's special needs children by 62%. FALSE

  • As Mayor of Wasilla, she tried to get this list of books banned, and then attempted to fire the librarian for not doing so. FALSE.
    It's TRUE that she did ask the librarian about censoring some books, and I admit that's not one of Palin's better moments, but it's not the list shown, as some of those weren't even published at the time. I'm unable to find a real list.  Some time later A few days before that, and again later she did ask the librarian to resign, along with other holdovers from the previous administration, so it's hard to claim the "censorship question" as the cause here. She later withdrew the request for resignation and no books were ever banned. As I said, this is not one of Palin's better moments, but it's not nearly as bad as the left makes it out to be. FactCheck.Org has more on this. My speculation was originally that the question may have been hypothetical. The FactCheck.Org article makes that seem even more likely as they have some more details that I had not read before. And here's still more from the city of Wasilla. It appears that during Palin's entire tenure as Mayor, the library received only one book banning request, from an unlisted person. I think we can officially put this smear to rest now.

  • Sarah Palin is being hidden from the media. FALSE.

  • She lied about putting the plane for sale on e-Bay. FALSE.
    We shouldn't even have to deal with this one, and it's obviously a smear rather than an attempt to get at the truth. This event made all the national news at the time. I remember hearing about it long before I ever had any clue who Sarah Palin was. The people claiming this know their claims are FALSE.  It's TRUE that it didn't sell. It was sold later offline though.

  • She didn't do anything as Commander-in-Chief of the AK National Guard. FALSE.
    Look, I admit that Republicans really ought not to trot this out. It's weak compared to the C-in-C role as President. Of course, her experience there, no matter how weak, is still stronger than Obama's, who has none. As I said, her subordinate was impressed with her work there.

  • Willow and Piper are named after witches! FALSE.
    Apparently the timeline is wrong for Piper, and it is possible that she was named after a character in Charmed.

  • She believes in abstinence only education. FALSE.

  • She was nearly recalled as Mayor of Wasilla. FALSE.

  • She raised AK sales tax by 40%. FALSE.
    AK has no sales tax.

  • She raised the state motor fuel tax. FALSE.

  • She's an extremist on global warming. FALSE.

  • As Mayor of Wasilla, she made rape victims pay for their medical exams. FALSE, and ludicrous. The "smoking gun" article that started this smear doesn't even mention Sarah Palin.

  • She would ban all abortions. FALSE.

    I am pro-life. With the exception of a doctor's determination that the mother's life would end if the pregnancy continued. I believe that no matter what mistakes we make as a society, we cannot condone ending an innocent's life.
  • She caused Trig to have Down's Syndrome by jetting to Texas in the 8th month of her pregnancy. FALSE.
    Down's Syndrome is a chromosome disorder. The disability occurs at the moment of conception (or very near thereafter).

  • Her son, Track, is being forced to join the military to escape prosecution from various juvenile charges. FALSE.

  • She cut funding for AK's Special Olympics by $275,000. FALSE. In fact, she increased funding by $25,000.

  • She was the Queen of Federal Funding Requests as Governor of AK. FALSE. Analysis here, and too complex to put succinctly. The short version.  Quite a difference between earmark requests and normal legislative appropriations.

  • On a similar note, AK is the largest "welfare state" under her administration. FALSE. Yes, AK receives quite a bit of federal funds, but it's also owns 60% of the land, and has 20,000 troops stationed there. In addition, there's a significant indigenous population. Calling it a "welfare state" is more than a tiny bit disingenuous.

  • She made a "huge gaffe" on the campaign trail by saying Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had "gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers." Mostly FALSE.
    She did say it, but it's a TRUE statement, so therefore not a gaffe. In fact, Congress approved a "blank check" for the two mortgage giants back in July. McCain came out with a warning about it then. If anything, Palin's words appear to reinforce what McCain has been saying for months.

  • She had an amniocentesis to test for Down's so she could decide whether or not to abort. This shows she's not as "pro-life" as she'd like to pretend.  SPECULATION and likely FALSE.
    I know several parents who have had the amniocentesis done who never had any consideration of getting an abortion. They just wanted to be the most prepared. There's little reason other than blatant partisanship to suspect anything different of Governor Palin.

  • She believes that we're in a "holy war" in Iraq. FALSE. AP did some really sleazy reporting here.

  • She's a member of the John Birch society. FALSE. Although, in this day and age, that might be a compliment rather than a smear.

  • She wasn’t vetted. PROJECTION, and FALSE.
    Old media has an ego problem. They honestly believe that if they didn't report on it, it didn't happen.

  • She's Pentecostal! MAYBE.
    But, so what? Is there something wrong with that, particularly when compared to the Trinity United Church?  The New York Times says she's definitely NOT a religious extremist. (Pentecostals aren't, anyway, just in case you were wondering).

  • She "Hired Friends and Lashed Foes" once elected. MAYBE.
    However, this is hardly a scandal, even if true. Think about it a moment. She campaigned on reform and as a corruption-buster. So, once elected, she fired people from the previous corrupt administration and hired people she knew she could trust. Shocking.

    Another point worth making here is that Sarah Palin has about an 85% approval rating in her home state. Now, I know that AK is over 50% Republican, but even if every single one of them likes Palin, that stil means that she's polling better than 50% approval among Democrats and Indepents. Keep that in mind when you read an article in the New York Times or Washington Post telling you how bad things are in AK or full of criticisms of her. It's obvious that they're only presenting the views of the 1 in 7 that dislike her rather than the 6 in 7 that like her.

  • She went to five different colleges before graduating. ELITIST.
    Is it TRUE? Apparently.  Is it relevant? I don't see how, except in a "my candidate went to Harvard" sort of way. I'm really not interested in people's college careers. I'm not even interested in Obama's grades. I'm just curious as to why they haven't been released, and why the press hasn't pushed for them.

  • She should stay home with her family in this time of need. SEXIST.

  • Her daughter getting pregnant reflects poorly on her. Oh God…if this is what you have to settle for, then you’re in deep trouble. There’s not a family in America that hasn’t had similar issues. Somehow I don’t remember Gore’s son being treated this way when it was discovered he had some drug issues. What the H***, I’ll go with SEXIST.

  • The mayor of a town with only 9,000 people doesn't have the experience for the Presidency. Somehow forgetting that she is currently the Governor of AK. Even Community Organizer Barack Obama (D-IL) has gotten into the act:

    Well, you know, my understanding is that, uh, Governor Palin’s town of Wasilly [sic] has, uh, 50 employees, uh, uh, we’ve got 2500, uh, in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million a year. Uh, uh, we have a budget of about three times that just for the month. Uh, so I think that, uh, our ability to manage large systems, uh, and to, uh, execute, uh, I think has been made clear over the last couple of years.
    If that’s your tactic, I’m going to call Obama a “community organizer” from now on and forget all about his Senate job that he doesn’t do anyway. It's worth mentioning here that there was a lot of talk about Governor Tim Kaine (D-VA) as Obama's running-mate. He has no more experience than Palin, and yet I don't recall hearing these kinds of complaints about him. I'm going to have to go with SEXIST again.

    BTW, someone please remind Obama that he's not running against Palin. He's running against McCain. And while you're at it, let him know that when he compares her experience to his all that does is remind us that he doesn't have any.

  • Her husband got a DUI 20 years ago. TRUE.
    SO?  If we're going to start eliminating politicians because of substance abuse problems with them and their families, the halls of Congress would be empty. I checked for similar things in the past of some prominent Democrats, but Mary Jo Kopechne was unavailable for comment.

  • She got federal money for her city as a mayor. TRUE.
    But isn’t that what mayors are supposed to do?

  • She implemented a plan to have wolves killed from the air. TRUE.
    But, the left is attempting to make a smear out of this, when in fact, it is a good thing. They claim that the wolves are needed to cull the populations of moose and caribou and keep their population from getting out of hand. But, in fact, the wolves are the ones who have gotten out of hand, and threaten the existence of the caribou and moose. This position is pro-environment, NOT anti-environment. This has only been implemented in very limited areas where the wolf population is out of control. Yes, it's controversial, and if you have a better idea for how to handle the wolf population, I'm sure Governor Palin would love to hear from you.

  • She laughed on a radio show when another woman, a cancer survivor, was called a bitch. TRUE.
    But there's much more to the story than just that, and in fact, she does appear to be a bitch.

    A radio interview with Palin surfaced in which she discussed a petty, last-minute attempt by Lyda Green — the Republican state Senate leader and Palin’s political enemy — to change the time of this year’s state of the state address. The schedule had been set well in advance, but Green cited a transparently bogus scheduling conflict in an attempt to force the speech to a time that would have prevented Palin from attending her son’s graduation. In that context, Palin let loose a small giggle when the radio host called Green a “bitch.”
  • Her daughter is pregnant. TRUE.
    Oh, but the media didn't find that one, the Palins released that information in response to the trash I've noted above. It's worth noting that Palin apparently feels that the child is a "blessed event" and doesn't feel that her daughter is being "punished with a baby".

  • She billed the state for nights spent at home. TRUE.
    People that are upset about this don't understand AK's politics or grasp the size of the state. They've been working for years on being the first state to institute "virtual government" allowing the state legislators to form a quorum and vote on issues from their legislative offices back in their home district. Just about every state official, including the Governor spends quite a bit on travel expenses. It's more than legitimate for the Governor to expense travel to and from home. In fact, the Governor could apparently expense far more than she has, and has expensed far less than her predecessors.

  • She should drop out, or McCain should kick her out.  This one has been really picking up steam the last couple of days.  My question: WHY?  The implicit answer is "because we're going to keep making up stuff about her for as long as it takes." Certainly there's no other reason.  Nothing that's TRUE that's been brought up so far even rises to the level of a gnat bite. I'm not sure if this is SEXIST or just SLEAZY, but it's certainly BIASED.

  • The National Enquirer is reporting that she had an affair with a businessman in AK. UNKNOWN.
    I don't discount it automatically because it came from the Enquirer.  Sometimes they get things right.  John Edwards is a recent example.  On the other hand, how many times have they reported that Dr. Phil's marriage is on the rocks?  The Bush's marriage is on the rocks?  Here's what the story says:

    Another incredible allegation emerging from the family war is that Palin, a mother of five, had an affair with a former business associate of her fisherman husband, Todd.
    “Todd discovered the affair and quickly dissolved his friendship and his business associations with the guy,” charges an enemy. “Many people in Alaska are talking about the rumor and say Todd swept it under the rug.”
    Seems pretty thin, even by Enquirer standards. But, it is possible that this is the only TRUE and relevant story out there. We'll see. The Smoking Gun has more info on this, and at least the main reason behind this speculation is FALSE. The status of the entire story is still UNKNOWN.  This blog has more. My FALSE meter's starting to get twitchy.

  • She called Obama "Sambo" and Hillary "Bitch". UNKNOWN and likely to remain so.
    This comes from the LA Progressive, apparently a "news" site. They have one source, a waitress named "Lucille". Unless other sources are found and can confirm it, then it will likely stay UNKNOWN, as it will be nearly impossible to disprove. I'm going go to with "innocent until proven guilty" here, especially given that there's only one source. I suppose Governor Palin could be a big jazz fan, but she's only two years older than me, and that's not a reference I'd make. I had to think on it a minute when I heard it to realize what the article was talking about. In the same vein, I could call up RedState and tell them that I heard Obama threatening to bomb the Pentagon if defeated. It would carry the same weight. Of course, one difference is that RedState probably wouldn't believe me and therefore wouldn't publish it.
Ok, so after probably tens of thousands of man-hours of research what have our best and brightest on the left come up with that's relevant and TRUE?
Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zippo. Also, this seems to belie the statement that she wasn't vetted properly.
Now, if only the press was so interested in vetting Obama. But I’ve given up on that.

This post will continue to be updated as long as more "vetting" occurs.

UPDATE: Many updates have occurred in-line.  I'm not going to post that an update has occurred every time I do one.  Too much trouble.  However, I wanted to point out that Charles Martin at Explorations has another list. He's done some impressive work and it's worthwhile checking out. I have some things that he doesn't have, and he has some things that I don't have. I'm working to bring mine up to compatible with his.
UPDATE: People who have contributed to this list, either knowingly or unknowingly are too numerous to mention. But I thank you all, and most of you are linked.
UPDATE: I'm having a hard time keeping up. Let me know if you know of any others.
UPDATE: It was getting hard to read, so I added in more whitespace. Unfortunately, this has the effect of making this post even longer (by the scrollwheel count anyway).
UPDATE: More on SEXIST attacks against Governor Palin can be found here.


  1. Thanks. Now if I could only count. It's only been 132 hours. :)

  2. Thank you Chris! Great job of tracking all this stuff down.

  3. The National Enquirer consistently characterizes the affair story as "incredible." Check it out. I assume this is their way of publishing sleaze and avoiding a lawsuit.

    Hollis French, the guy ramrodding the "ethics investigation" is a Democrat and an Obama spokesman.
    See, e.g: http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/emilybokar/gGxsmH

  4. Sorry, the web address got cut off:

    See, e.g: http://my.barackobama.com/page/

  5. Well put together except for the last sentence at the end. Obama has been on the trail now for about 19 months, being closely scrutinized along the way. In fact, The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, found that Obama had about 72% negative coverage amongst the media. I say all is fair in love, war, and politics.

  6. Rob,
    I'll look it up, but I believe that 72% negative coverage was for a period of about two weeks. If you really believe that he's had 72% negative coverage throughout the campaign, then you're fooling yourself.

    And he's been vetted by the media? They only talked about Rev. Wright when forced to. They've never looked into Ayres. They've never really talked about the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. They haven't talked about his heavy-handed responses to the people that have asked. They haven't asked about his grades, his medical records, his Illinois State Senate records, his "present votes", or about his association with Tony Rezko. They haven't dug into his record of accomplishments at all. They haven't asked him why so many of his idols are Marxists.

    Now, admittedly, the answers to some of these questions could be used as smears, and it's hypocritical of me to request smears in such an anti-smear post. But I want the answers from him. The truth. You can't smear the truth. It's either going to sink or swim on its own.

  7. The truth of the matter is that the press has done more digging into Sarah Palin's history in the last 9 days than they have in the entire 19 months of the Obama campaign.

    That's not just bias, it's insulting.

  8. Her husband got a DUI 20 years ago. TRUE.

    I find it ridiculous that any reporter would print this without also reporting Barack Obama's admitted cocaine and pot use - see below. After all, Barack Obama is running for President. Todd Palin is not running for anything.

    "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it" - Dreams From My Father, Barack Obama (2003)

  9. Awesome post, Chris. I was so dreading doing something like this myself because of the time involved. Now I'm just gonna perma-link you on my blog.

    And your comment on all the research done by the media in the last 9 days vs Obama's 19 months - right on. Some people say we're in the 'end of days'. If so, I think the locusts just hit Wasilla.

  10. Good point, Michael.

    Thanks, Trish.

    There's another blogger that's also done a lot of work here. I'm going to add a link to his stuff when I update the post today.


  11. Thanks for posting this. As the MSM seems to run with the wildest Sarah Palin rumor it would be nice if they got the truth.

  12. Chris, this is great! Excellent reference and resource material. Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time and doing the work for all of us Palin supporters. This blog and "Explorations" are now permanent fixtures in my Palin file and sure to be daily must reads for me.

  13. Thanks, Red. More updates to this post coming today, if I have time.

  14. Answers to these allegations????

    1) Sarah Palin sought welfare for her town by campaigning in Washington for earmarks when she was mayor. Now she is governor of the biggest welfare state in the nation. A true fiscal conservative would figure out how to have the town and state pay their own way rather than relying on federal charity to cover their expenses.

    2) Wow what a reformer! *runs for nonpartisan office of mayor on social conservative issues mayors don't have control over, runs city into crippling debt, graduates Reto governor of pork-laden welfare state*

  15. Yawn.

    I'm sorry, but I just can't get exercised about a Mayor or Governor trying to get earmarks for her city or state. I'd say that's what Mayors and Governors are supposed to do.

    As for biggest welfare state, that seems like a crazy accusation to just toss out there with no proof whatsoever.

    Unless you're referring to the oil rebate checks she had sent out to all her constituents? Not my first choice, but a perfectly understandable item. The politicians in her state (both Democrat and Republican) have a reputation for being in the pockets of "Big Oil". She's attempting to show that she's not going to play that game.

    And the first round of checks were entirely funded by a budget surplus, I believe. I can supply links if you like. It's possible that's the case with the second round too, but I can't say without doing more research.

  16. Thank you, Chris. Very Informative, helpful and straightforward.

  17. You're welcome, Jude. Let me know if you find anything that I've missed.

  18. Thanks for the hard work Chris, it's been quite helpful.

  19. Thanks, Mark. I'm on vacation right now so haven't added much, but I might be able to do some more stuff with it today.

  20. http://www.palinrumors.com
    is another good site.

  21. Pregnant with Track when she married? I've heard yes and no...personally I don't care but I'd like to know what you fins source-wise...