By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

More on the Palins and the AIP

John McCain’s campaign staffers are pushing back hard on Jake Tapper’s ABC News report that Sarah Palin had once been a member of the Alaskan Independence Party (AIP), which tells you all you need to know about how toxic they fear this issue will become.

Kate Klonick, writing for TPM Muckraker, has now verified that Todd Palin was a member from 1995 through 2002. What’s still hanging out there is this: the McCain camp also denies that Sarah Palin attended the party’s state convention in Wasilla in 1994 — but Tapper’s got three on-the-record witnesses who say they saw her there.

And so it continues.

Media Nation was talking a little while ago with a friend whom I would describe as slightly right of center and deeply versed in foreign-policy issues. He probably would have voted for McCain if he had chosen Joe Lieberman or, for instance, Condoleezza Rice. Mitt Romney? Maybe.

The Palin choice, though, has driven him into the Obama camp for two reasons: his fear of what would happen if she became president; and what it says about McCain’s judgment.

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Still more on the Palins and the AIP


  1. Nial Liszt

    If President McCain departs, Palin gets to nominate her VP. So she names Condi to take care of all the overseas stuff and we’re all good to go. But then again, MSNBC and NYT will be all over the fact that she will probably have to neglect her dog and cat to accept the position.

  2. mike_b1

    nial, if President McCain were to depart, Palin would no doubt name her dog and cat to the VP position. And be very surprised when she learns that you have to be, you know, human to accept.

  3. Gerard

    “Media Nation was talking a little while ago with a friend…”Really and when did good old “Media Nation” report that conversation to you?One of the first things I used to teach all ex-Journalism school students that worked for me as to “eschew pretension.”

  4. Dan Kennedy

    Really [add comma] and when did good old “Media Nation” report that conversation to you?One of the first things I used to teach all ex-Journalism [lc “j”] school students that [delete that, replace with who] worked for me as [was?] to “eschew [pretentious; try avoid] pretension.”

  5. ogre

    Arrived in NH visiting relatives and taking a class… 10 days ago. My brother-in-law told me that he was leaning to Obama, but that if McCain selected Romney, he’d vote for him. With Palin, my brother-in-law is in the bag for Obama, and my sister-in-law, who is more conservative still, is waffling and troubled. Wants to vote GOP, but a book censoring secessionist who didn’t even know what the job entailed a couple months ago is really a hard thing to gag down, it appears.The whole family’s having fun poking fun at the GOP ticket right now. The hard core anti-abortion element’s big for my sister-in-law, but the drunken-spender from Wasilla image is really not attractive, and she keeps laughing at snarky shots at Palin. I think that she’ll vote for Obama, in the end.

  6. Aaron Read

    Question: what happens if McCain gets elected, dies within a short timeframe (for the sake of argument, let’s say within two years) and Palin becomes President.Does the presumably-still-Democratically-controlled Congress immediately hold impeachment hearings to ramrod them through before Palin can nominate a VP, in the hopes of ousting Palin and installing Pelosi (as Speaker, she’d be next in the chain, right?).This is a little pie in the sky, I admit. But on reflection, it’s really a fairly plausible scenario, isn’t it? Especially if the Dems pick up several seats in the Senate, which is unlikely (“a few” seats is more likely) but possible.It’d also be completely outrageous, and transparently political…but no more so than Clinton’s impeachment hearings.

  7. Gerard

    Dan, believe me when I tell you that there are two editors in this conversation, and you are neither the more experienced nor the better. That’s why you teach this stuff and are locked into the few media outlets that will have you.

  8. mike_b1

    No need to boast of your credentials, Gerard. Based on your postings today, I’m sure we would recognize you by your red face.

  9. O-FISH-L

    Let me get this straight.Mr. Right of Center is uncomfortable with the level of experience possessed by a candidate for the #2 job, so his solution is to vote for a candidate whose ideology is much different from his own, and who has even less experience, for the #1 job? As the guys from Guinness might say, “Brilliant!”If this person exists Dan, he’s toying with you. An early example of the Bradley Effect, perhaps. Or maybe the Effect to be Named Later where respondents tell a questioner from academia or the media what they expect they want to hear, like, “Of course I’m voting Democrat.”

  10. Dan Kennedy

    Fish: I didn’t say it was Palin’s lack of experience that was driving my friend to Obama. That’s your assumption. His problem with Palin is her ideology plus a lack of evidence that she’s ever thought deeply (or at all) about a wide range of national and international issues.Trust me — he is not toying with me. He and I have fought the journalistic wars together.

  11. mike_b1

    Let’s get one thing straight: Experience is overstated. Unless, of course, you think Richard Nixon (Watergate), Ronald Reagan (Iran contra), G. Bush (record deficits, two wars, no Osama) Ted Stevens (bribes), Duke Cunningham (bribes) and the raft of veteran GOP Congressmen who were caught in other people’s beds were, ahem, inexperienced.My five year old knows lying is wrong, even if, say, Dick Cheney doesn’t.Judgment counts. Obama’s got it. McCain doesn’t. Palin never will.

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