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First town hall together, Sarah Palin and John McCain mesh well

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Back together again on the campaign trail, the talking Republican duo of Sen. John McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin showed an easy camaraderie tonight in their first joint town hall meeting here.

McCain deferred to Palin, Palin deferred to McCain and both sang the praises of the other in front of an attentive, adoring crowd at Grand Rapids Community College.

So well are the two working together that campaign officials are considering keeping them as a political pair at many more events in these last 48 days before Nov. 4. As The Ticket reported earlier this evening, Palin has also shown considerable skill on her own as a party fundraiser.

A campaign poster for Republican Arizona Senator John McCain and his running mate vice presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

It was the first time Palin, the brand-new running mate, took questions from voters. For the most part, those questions were softballs. And they were handled with ease.

One woman said her question was for Palin, not McCain, and she wanted to know "your response to people who have said you can't be a mother and a vice president, which of course you can."

Said Palin: "Well, let's prove them wrong." And then she launched into praise for McCain, "the maverick," who decided to put her on the ticket as the first female in the GOP's 154-year history.

When a voter asked Palin if she'd been able to persuade McCain to support drilling for oil in a corner of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, she said, "I'm still working on it."

Joked McCain, "This town hall meeting is adjourned!"

Another voter asked Palin if she would respond to critics who say she is not ready to deal with foreign policy questions.

"I think because I'm a Washington outsider, opponents are going to be looking at a whole lot of things to tear down the ticket," the governor responded, adding that she has the confidence to serve.

"You can ask me; you can even play stump the candidate if you like," invited Palin. Our Tribune colleague Jill Zuckman has more details on tonight's event over at the Swamp.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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I wouldn't trust these two for all the tea in China! They are both adept at lying, NO THANKS! If you do the homework you'll discover that Palin is a pretty ruthless and corrupt politician, very much like the current V.P.!

In your own words...Thanks, but no thanks

Clinton was the one who deregulated Wall Street investment banking to have less scrutiny back in 1999; Obama takes over $500,000.00 from Lehman Brothers and other wall street firms for his run for President, and you think its a great idea to have the Democrats in control of the White House and Congress??? Think NOT! Obama doesn't have the backbone to even know how to vote YES/NO will in the Senate...that's NOT leadership!

She's still got scripted talking points. "Washington outsider" is not the problem with her potential foreign policy. The problem is that she hadn't even been curious enough about the rest of the world to get a passport until 2007.

Deflecting questions is not answering them.

A regular Ozzie and Harriet this pair is, hus? You'd never know what deceptive liars they are.

And here's some 'vetting' on Sarah Palin when she was running for Governor.

I’m getting very tired of all this “softball” reporting. When is the media going to ask McCain and Palin some tough questions. Like what they plan to do about: people without health insurance, people losing their homes, their jobs, their sense of dignity, the education of our children, soldiers fighting and dying for a "war fabricated by the White House", and why the federal government has abandoned these same soldiers when they come home physically and mentally destroyed. I'd like some astute reporter to ask McCain and Palin what happened to our country under the "patriotic watch" of the Republican Party - how their party tried to make torture an American family value and gutted our constitution. I’d really like to know where my America went - the one that once cared for others during tough times - the one where neighbors and co-workers could have civil discussions on important issues. Wake up America – this country is going to "hell in a hand basket". Isn’t a key role of journalism to find the truth, to report the facts, to inform the public or did that go out of style too? If the Republican candidates for President and Vice-President choose to not address these critical issues, shouldn’t journalists at least ask? It’s time to “take the gloves off” before we all go over the cliff while listening to more useless babble!

So, by "taking questions" they really mean that people asked her to repeat her talking points. The campaign really went out on a limb there.

By the way Mrs. Palin, "confidence" isn't going to do you much good when you're utterly clueless and trying to deal with an international crisis. Bush was always "confident". He never doubted himself and never changed his mind (or listened to reason for that matter). We've all seen where that gets us.

I honestly do not understand how anyone could give the republicans four more years of power. They have ruled this country for almost eight years now and they have run our country into the ground. How many of us can really say that our country is in better shape then when they took control?. How many of us are doing better now than when Clinton was president? My parents both have their own businesses which were thriving eight years ago, now they are barely getting by.

They pretend they're more religious and moral but have you listened to their talk radio? They spew endless hatred of anyone that thinks differently than them. Now, like the past two elections, we are subject to their lies about earmarks, bridges to nowhere, etc. And our economy is in ruins. We may be headed towards another great depression.

They had eight years and the have failed horribly. Our country can't afford any more. We need real change or we may lose everything.

McCain has to have Palin there to draw a crowd. The republicans act like Palin is the presidential candidate and McCain is the runner up. She is going to be the equivalent of Dan Quail.

Handled with ease? What a joke. When asked about foreign policy qualifications, Palin couldn't answer with anything specific. This would all be funny if she wasn't going to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

I'm sick and tired of being lied to and seeing how McCain/Palin's poll numbers are tanking right now, so are many other Americans.

They were clunky and forced. She butted in and offered no substance. He kept having to prop her up with comments like international credentials are "commanding" national guard. It's an extremely weak and uninspiring ticket.

Watching some of the town hall meeting with John McCain and Sarah Palin was like sitting through a really bad Las Vegas lounge act.

Well, McCain's pretty stupid. Now he's brought up the amnesty for illegals push that he was so eager to be a part of, the same one that a vast majority of the American people firmly said "No!" to.

John, you are a retard, Obama didn't scuttle it, the voting public raised an uproar over the plan and scuttled it. Your other pol friends ran from it like they were on fire once it became the toxic issue it was. You are just the living breathing definition of a friggin idiot. Let's get that fence built pronto and put you on the other side of it.

Sarah's a great idea, you are not. First the economy remark on Monday and now pushing illegal amnesty around again by Wednesday. Trying to pander to a latino vote you are just not going to get no matter what you do. You just reversed your bounce pal, probably the election, way to go moron. Thanks for reminding me who you really are and tell your campaign team I feel genuine empathy for them.

They'd better start letting her go before reporters and get used to the scrutiny because if they don't, when she faces Joe Biden on Oct. 2, there will be carnage.

Stump the candidate?? How about forget the candidate. They have nothing interesting to say and they've already shown a propensity to lie, stonewall and act like children. T The Republicans couldn't come up with anything better than these two clowns???

Even Obama is a better bet than these two.

Thanks for posting a non-biased report. I'm frankly sick of seeing the "spin" from reporters who should be trying their best ro present a ballanced viewpoint. I've been sad to see how hard everyone in the media seems to be trying to bring Sarah Palin down. I'm not a Republican (i've been a registered Libertarian since 1980) and I won't be voting for the Republicans this time either. But, I'd like to think that the press would report things straight up.

Palin never gets specific on the question of foreign policy, but instead of giving examples of possible strengths she has (or very possibly doesn't have), she diverts to 'because I'm a Washington outsider' and 'she has the confidence'. Neither of these remarks addresses the question head on asked by one of the voters. McCain then jumps in and further distracts from the question being asked, by then telling the audience of the Natural Gas line she supported in Alaska.

Another asked a question regarding Cuba, but was never answered.

Palin then challenges the audience with "You can ask me; you can even play stump the candidate if you like." McCain at that instant jumped in before anyone could take the challenge.

If this is any indication of what is going to take place when the 2 VP's debate, it is going to be interesting how she will handle herself with Sen. Biden. They'll be no one to bail her out in the one on one debate.

Palin is just so shaky when she's not reading from a teleprompter or memorized scripted talking points. I can understand why the McCain campaign is sequestering her. Her response tonight to her foreign affairs experience was a total avoidance to the question.

They should mesh well, they are the same cloth - scum. He lies while feigning the most of integrity. She lies and carries on like it's all sweet. ANd now that she's the national bell of republican scum she can voise the same integrity destroying disdain for law as her Republican forebears from Nixon to Bush. I have just finished the article on her troopergate scandal unraveling as the Repugnent ones weasel out of civic duty and law. Nothing but scum. We need good muckers to shovel them out. Anyone who votes for these greedy monstrels gets what they deserve. Sadly the rest of us will end up suffering along with them.

Oh where's the town hall forums that McCain invited Obama to by the way. The quick thinking ivy league grad & esteemed & accomplished Senator couldn't find time to participate in something like that. No he'll do Letterman, The View, Ellen, & SNL, etc. Mere fluff & fawning by celebrities. And now he resorts to blaming the financial crisis all on the cons & McCain when 1 of his financial advisers & the head of his "pick a VP" committee were the top execs of Fannie & Freddie. McCain proposed to take steps to reign in these thieves years ago & the dems shot it down.
I've never seen such scrutiny leveled as a VP before. Scrutiny that has never been applied to Obama. You's think she was running for president.
Obama is smoke & mirrors & MSM public relations fabrication & my gut tells me probably a whole lotta voter fraud mixed in too. Palin may lack experience in areas but it's obvious that she has the brains , will to lead & serve & she knows what she stands for. Something that Obama has to decide after he takes a look at the polls. If something were to happen to McCain she would surround herself with a solid team, fill in the gaps real quick & carry on where he left off.

When does the press get to play "Stump the Candidate"??? No other VP candidate in modern history has EVER gone this long without taking questions from the press.

What's the use of the first amendment if the press won't demand their right to use it?

McCain = 4 more years of Bush!!!!!
Republicans cannot win the election as McCain doesn't qualify to be president>>
Born in Panama at a Military Base....
According to a State Department manual, U.S. military installations abroad cannot be considered "part of the United States" and "A child born on the premises of such a facility is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth."

"Another voter asked Palin if she would respond to critics who say she is not ready to deal with foreign policy questions."

Why didn't you quote this voter's question?

I believe that voter asked her to discuss foreign policy and she dodged the question. You, Andrew Malcolm, are a part of the problem. What we need is information, not propaganda.

Something has happened that I never thought possible. There is someone who could be a worse president than W.

Sarah Palin. More dangerous than W.

You Dems are mean people!! You want Socialism in America so bad, that you say such things, shame on all of you! You all must drink acid in the mornings.

Tom said: "Clinton was the one who deregulated Wall Street investment banking to have less scrutiny back in 1999."

Hey, Tom, tell it straight. The Republicans held both the House and the Senate. The charge to deregulate was led by your Phil Gramm.

If the Republicans did NOT want to deregulate, it would Not have happened.

Half-truths are worse than down right lies.

Tell me you didn't know, Tom. (Shades of "Say it ain't so, Joe.)

A must-see. Sarah Palin newsclip, referring to an upcoming Palin/McCain administaration:

Barack Obama = 4 years of ;

Bill Ayers
angry Michelle Obama
Democrats cannot win this election because Obama have a phony birth certificate. It did not look legitimate. He should show better proof of where he was born. Foreigners cannot be president of the USA.


I just read your post and remembered this old quote:

During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai E. Stevenson: “Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!” Stevenson called back, “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!”

MESH WELL! ? who wrote that. ?
Palin at the end of her speech referred to the
quote "the Palin-McCain Administration" !?
McCain's not in control.

yeah sure guy... meshing perfectly. ha.
whatta gumball wrote this headline.

Obama supporters are foolish to think that he will never betray them.
Obama was a close friend of Pastor Wright for TWENTY YEARS.
Obama threw Wright under the bus for personal ambition.
McCain would not betray his country even after 5 years of torture.
You can put lipstick on a traitor, but he's still a traitor.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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