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Sarah Palin a no-show at antiabortion event, sparking some ire

So far, at least, John McCain's camp can't be accused of overexposing Sarah Palin.

Two days after McCain shocked the political world by tapping her as his running mate, she was nowhere to be found on the Sunday talk-show circuit. On Monday, she was kept under wraps as word surfaced of the pregnancy of her 17-year-old unwed daughter.

Longtime conservative activist Phyliss Schlafly is not happy John McCain's campaign cancelled a scheduled appearance by Sarah Palin before an anti-abortion group Today, Palin's scheduled appearance in St. Paul, Minn., as guest of honor at an afternoon gathering by the Republican National Coalition for Life was canceled. And that didn't sit well with a leading social conservative.

Phyllis Schlafly, who in the mid-1970s almost single-handedly derailed what had been the expected ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, told ABC News that a McCain aide notified her late Monday that Palin would not be attending the event.

"I think this is clearly somebody in the McCain campaign who doesn't understand where the votes are coming from," Schlafly said. "They only told me this at 10 o'clock last night, and it was a call from somebody down the line in the McCain campaign."

She added: "The pro-lifers who paid $95 to come to this event because of Sarah Palin are going to be very unhappy."

Palin's appearance was set up before she was picked for the GOP's national ticket, McCain aides stressed. And her spokeswoman, Maria Comella, told ABC that Palin needed to pass on the antiabortion event to work on her speech to the Republican National Convention.

-- Don Frederick

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times  Alan Hagman

Comments () | Archives (28)

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Palin has more executive experience than all three men on both ticket:

1992-1996 — Entered public life, serving two terms on the Wasilla City Council.

1996-2002 — Elected mayor of Wasilla City, Alaska, for two terms until term limits forced her from office.

2002 — Lost her first statewide campaign for the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor.

2002 — Frank Murkowski left the Senate to become governor and named Palin chairwoman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

2003 — Split with the party leaders by battling Randy Ruedrich, the head of Alaska’s Republican Party.

2006 — Upset then-Gov. Murkowski in the Republican primary, then defeated former two-term Gov. Tony Knowles, a Democrat, in the general election.

2007 — Pressured lawmakers to get the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act passed, to build a natural gas pipeline to deliver 35 trillion cubic feet of North Slope natural gas to market.

I was just at this event..NO ONE seemed to be "sparking ire". This event celebrates life. Mrs. Schlafly looked radiant as she posed for photos with many, including my husband.

She is running a state with a total population of 600k. The size of San Francisco is one city, is 750k.

What kind of experience does it take run a state with 650k people ? Our mayor of San Jose, LA, Oakland, San Francisco, have real life experience then hers.

frieda, what in heaven's name does your comment have to do with the article above it?

Senator Clinton and Governor Palin are proof that women can and do diverge on important issues.

Even on the question of whether women should vote!

Most people are totally in the dark about HOW the suffragettes won votes for women, and what life was REALLY like for women before they did.

Suffragettes were opposed by many women who were what was known as 'anti.'

The most influential 'anti' lived in the White House. First Lady Edith Wilson was a wealthy Washington widow who married President Wilson in 1915.

Her role in Wilson's decision to jail and torture Alice Paul and hundreds of other suffragettes will never be fully known, but she was outraged that these women picketed her husband's White House.

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There are tons of heartache on the rocky road to the ballot box, but in the end, women WIN!

Thanks to the success of the suffragettes, women can support the candidates and causes they choose -- left, right, in-between or GREEN!

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Give me a break! Let's just take a look at Obama's record of experience:

10 years of senate experience (8 state senate 2 federal)
with much aisle crossing bi-partisan solutions. In state
senate, sponsored 780 bills, 280 were signed into law.
100% approval rating: League of Conservation Voters,
Planned Parenthood. National Education Association
gives him an “A” on their most recent scorecard.
His first year as U.S. Senator, Obama held 39 town hall
meetings throughout Illinois, and in senate, sponsored
152 bills and resolutions, and cosponsored 427 more
Speaker Harry Reid designated Barack Obama as the
Senate point man on ethics. Obama is known
unquestionable ethics and integrity.

Background :
Worked for $13,000 / year helping inner city Chicago poor.
Registered 150,000 people to vote. Graduated first black
president of Harvard Law Review, passed over 600 high money
law firm offers to work for civil rights practice at fractional pay.
State senate :
Adds health insurance for 20,000 children, Welfare reform,
Earned income tax credit, increased minimum wage ($5.15 to
$6.50). Death penalty reform making interrogations be video
taped passed Senate 58-0, signed to law by governor who first
opposed Obama’s bill. Sponsored bill probing police profiling.
Obama opposed Iraq war publically, long before the invasion.
Accurately depicted it as undetermined length, undetermined
cost, undetermined objective, resulting as civil war. Same
assessment Bush Sr. & Dick Cheney both gave in early 90’s.
Federal senate :
Worked with republican senator Lugar to expand and author
program to locate & dismantle stray Russian WMD’s left over
from the cold war after the disbanding of the USSR.
Jan. 2007, major ethics/lobbying reform bill, w/ Russ Feingold
insisted tougher measures banning lobbyist gifts/ meals/ jets,
disclosure of earmark & contribution bundling to candidates or
committees; restricts retiring Congress from going into lobbying
Toured Kuwait, Jordan, Israel, Palestinian territories, he told
Palestinian Authority Abbas that US would never recognize
Hamas leaders until they renounced mission to attack Israel.
In Africa, publicly took AIDS test as example of responsibility
Obama cosponsored Secure Orderly Immigration Act by John
McCain. Passed 62-36. Makes undocumented persons who
have been here 5+ years only allowed to stay and apply for
citizenship, if pay back taxes, learn English and no criminal
record. 2 million undocumented persons who have been in the
United States for less than two years would be ordered home.
Called for increased fuel efficiency standards (3% / year)


If your definition of 'executive experience' is the mayor of a town of 8,000 and governor(for 18 months) of a state with less people than Jacksonville, Florida, then sure.

In reality, she's dan quayle in a dress.

I agree that we should leave Palin's family out of it.
There are much better reasons to dismiss this nominee:
Troopergate, lies about earmarks, AIP membership, and directorship of indicted Senator Ted Stevens 527 soft money fund.

Fieda's post just goes to show you how much of a made-up issue the Republicans have in repeating the "experience" argument over and over against Obama.

Palin has more years of executive experience than even McCain, yet she is clearly NOT ready to be President of the United States.

I'm not sure why the Republicans keep dragging up the old "experience" line when Palin so clearly shows why it is not a useful measure of a good candidate for President.

If one's definition of 'executive experience' includes may of a town of 8,000 and governor(for less than 18 months!) of a state with less people than Jacksonville, Florida, then sure.

In reality, she's Dan Quayle in a dress.

This was planned by McSame and Co. Obama talked about bringing America Rove and his buddies brought in a Blue-Collar American to be ripped apart. At the End of the Day...starting today with Huckabee...they'll point their crooked fingers at the "liberal" media and the Democrats and blame them for what happened. It's the just Straw Man tactic with a twist.

The American Electorate needs to get smart about this crap. Obama|Biden need to end the era of Rove|Bush|McCain.

What was John McCain thinking? Did he know anything about Sarah Palin before he chose her to be his VP?

It sure doesn't seem like it...

frieda: is this a 'tongue in cheek" post or you serious?

No reason for her to "no show" her base

frieda, thanks for the laugh. 1992-1996 is not executive experience, it's LEGISLATIVE EXPERIENCE!!! Also 2002-2006 is also not executive experience. I wouldn't think anyone who feels Palin is the hottest thing since sliced bread would know the difference between the branches of government. Palin is a horrible choice and is a blatant pander. There are hundreds, possibly thousands of much more qualified people within the Republican Party. John McCain isn't asleep at the wheel, he's hog-tied and locked in the trunk.

Paulin is nothing more than Repulican stategy to capture disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters

I was at this event and I was mad as all hell! The nerve or that Mrs. Palin!

This seems to be a brillaint move and a fine balancing act. First, you talk about keeping the grand-daughter -- that appeases the pro-lifers. Now this no-show should trick all those abortion-loving Hillary supporters into voting for Palin. That is a win-win. Coooool!!

Watched interview with John McCain where he waxed poetic on Palin's "Executive Experience" and how it outshines Barack Obama's. Had to laugh when McCain got down to her stint as head of PTA. Ha Ha.

How desperate!! How embarrassing for her - and him. I was once student body president and took an advanced accounting class. That should at least qualify me for a cabinet position, maybe Treasury Secretary. I can't wait for my call.

Hmmmm...What do you think of Jon Stewart's description of Sarah looking like a porn star?

Folks, all this doesn't matter. What will matter is that at the end of the day, millions of both Republicans and Democrats won't feel comfortable voting for a black man for President no matter how much they despise what Bush/Chaney have done to this country.

I'll be very clear about this.
The problem with the antiabortion crowd is that they think by illegalizing abortion it's going to make it go away.

It won't.
Abortions will continue.
Only, this time, the goverment will spend loads of time, and money prosecuting women and healthcare professionals.

And what a freakin' waste of money that would be.

They say "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade." Well with Abortion out of the picture, I say, "If your neighbor's rapist gives her a deaf baby – make hearing aids!" America will soon be harvesting a bumper crop of little flipper children with no arms. Do you think Macy's will have cute little jumpers that accommodate a tail resulting from a prenatal pharmaceutical mishap? No! But you can! So break out your knitting needles and craft kits gals, and consider starting a home business selling hand-made deformity fashions on eBay! You didn't hear it from me, but Samuel Alito swears that vinyl onesies with the "external intestines pouch" will be next year's baby shower hot ticket!

I've been a republican for over 34 years and was going to vote for McCain.
Not because he was a republican, but because his views and character.
I'm not a big fan of the Bush administration and was really hoping for change,
and I thought McCain could bring this.

Obama choose Biden to be his VP, something that seriously stunned me.
Then again, I was hoping this would back-fire.
But then there was an interview with Obama discussing the Biden ticket.
He said "more or less" that he needed a person in the White House with
who he could start a debate with or throw ideas at.

Then the GOP started, and wow did it start. McCain chooses his VP!
Palin? What is the GOP thinking? I have nothing against having a woman
in the White House, but you can't be serious!?

I was wondering waht the media was saying about this pick.
First I turned on FoxNews. But their statements about how good she would be for
our nation were just insane! Even 50% of the reporters were just stunned I think.

Then I went to browse for Palin on the internet and the more I found on her,
the more dirt seems to come up. Her views are so extreme I was just shocked
that McCain and the GOP would support her.

These last couple of days have made me rethink my vote, it opened my eyes.
I can't vote rebuplican anymore it's a joke. It's all about the money and they don't
seem to care about us common folk anymore. This used to be different much different.

For the first time in my life I will vote for a Democrate.
Congrats mr. Obama and Biden. You have my vote.


This is so very interesting. Here we have a young girl (Bristol Palin) who probably has the best family

environment. She has a comfortable, loving family, deeply religious, pro-life (no premarital sex) parents

and a mother who is governor of the state of Alaska. Mom also only believes in abstinence-only sex

education. You would think that given such an environment, Bristol would be the last person to indulge in

premarital sex. You would also think that Bristol would know that her privileged position (daugher of the

governor) would make her realise that she simply should NEVER become pregnant outside of marriage. Yet as we

all now know, that was not the case. Obviously, this can happen to the best of families despite all the

disencentives to becoming pregnant this way. Some would say that it should also probably be left as a

private matter for the Palin family to work out based on their religious views and that it is no one else's

business. I would beg to differ. You see, if someone who never had the misfortune of having a child become

pregnant before marriage were to tell me that "abstinence-only sex education is the only acceptable sex

education", I might think that they are a bit naive and simply not in touch with the realities of teenage

life. But I would think that despite being naive they are sincere in their belief. But if Mrs. Palin were to

now provide the same message and, more importantly, tried to make it the law of the land, I could only

conclude that she is an hyppocrite. After all, how can she now profess such a belief when it is obvious,

from her own personal experience, that it simply does not work. Her daughter had the best moral (we would

think) environment in which to grow up, and was taught those laudable but naive concepts. Yet, again, she

did all the wrong things. Now, as conservatives will say, "no one is perfect and we all make mistakes".

Exactly, no one is perfect and we all make mistakes. And if Bristol Palin, despite all she had going for

her, made the mistake of getting pregnant before finishing her education and before being dully married,

what are the chances that some poor teenage girl from a lower socio-economic stratum, with no proper moral

compass, no loving parents, absentee father, won't make the same mistake? Now, in Bristol Palin's case, at

least 3 lives have been altered. Hers, the future father to be and the baby to be. Indirectly affected are

her parents, siblings and possibly all of us and this country, through history. For all we know, McCain

might loose this election because of this. For all we know enough people might be turned off by this entire

thing to have McCain loose. Years from now we might look back at the whole situation and conclude that "For

want of a condom, an administration was lost". Perhaps conservatives might learn an interesting lesson and

see that their own policy on sex education has come back to bite them. Had this young girl being told that

contraception would prevent all of this, perhaps she wouldn't be pregnant today. And talking about

contraception would not be responsible for her sexually activity. It is quite evident that all the other

talk (no premarital sex, abstinence only, etc...), the loving family, the religious upbringing, simply did

not work. My point is simple. Even the best, most loving, most religious family, out in Alaska, away from

the bad influences of big cities in the contiguous states, can find themselves in a situation where they

discover that a daughter is sexually active despite their best effort to prevent it. This would not be a

fault of their own. It would be the consequence of a bad choice on the part of their daughter (or son, if he

his the father of some other girl's baby). But we know that there are a few words that can prevent the major

consequences. Those words are: "We have taught you well. You know you should not have premarital sex. We

have done everything to teach you morals and religious values. We trust and love you. But, should you decide

to engage in such an activity, please, please, use protection". This would not be an encouragement for the

daughter to have sex, but a loving way for parents who perform so many sacrifices to perform one more, tell

their daughter how to protect herself. I say loving parents because, and this is not mentioned in this

story, what if instead of getting pregnant, Bristol had contracted a venereal disease? What if she had not

become pregnant, but had contracted aids? It is obvious that she has been sexually active and has not been

using protection. Getting pregnant is only one of the terrible things that could have happened to her. Yet

her mother is pushing for abstinence-only sex education? So, now, were she to become vice-president and

tried to push this agenda, how many people could listen to her and believe her given her own personal,

family situation. Through all this, Bristol Palin has taken away any moral high ground her mother might have

had. This doesn't mean that someone else, untouched by such a situation can't send that same message

(abstinence-only sex education) out. But in order to have some people still believe that abstinence-only sex

education can work, the message would have to come from someone who is not a perfect example of the fallacy

of that belief. Sarah Palin can no longer send that message out and would simply not be credible if she

tried to institute a law of laws to only provide abstinence-only sex education. I would now love to know if

the Bristol's boyfriend was also raised with the same teaching. Did he have the benefit of a sex-education

that explained to him that protection is important? If not, this might be another nail in the coffin of

abstinence-only sex education. When 1 in 4 teenage girl in the U.S. is infected with an STI (Sexually

Transmitted Infection) it is obvious that despite being in the age of information, these poor girls (and

presumably boys) are not getting enough information because some, on religious grounds, refuse to provide

the information. That is shameful.
Remember this. In a few months we might have a story that ends with:"For want of a condom, an administration

was lost".

Syphyllis Shafly should be hung.

Palin's experience is much more limited than it sounds. Two terms on city council, followed by two terms as Mayor, isn't all that big of a deal when you consider that Wasilla "City" has a population of 8500.

To jump from being Mayor of a small town to Governor was huge, but she hasn't even completed her first term as Governor, and now she's trying to become Vice-President of over 300 million people.

Finally, she opposes teaching kids about contraception and sex in school. As she's found out, pregnant teenagers are what you get when you value ignorance over knowledge.

Did you watch the movie "The Candidate" on televison tonight and notice the prounounced similarity of Sarah Palin with the Candidate's wife Karen Carlson? It is obvious that John McCain likes to surround himself with young beautiful actress-like women. This is NOT a good sign.

Frankly Doc, I think she looks more like Peggy Hill!


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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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