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Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

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The Sarah Palin arrives at a GOP convention, eager to meet the new star

Ladies and gentlemen, the Governor is in the house.

Sarah Palin, Alaska's governor but John McCain's new vice presidential partner, has arrived in St. Paul for the abbreviated Republican National Convention, where the selection of the relatively unknown 44-year-old mother of five has energized thousands of Republicans gathered for the GOP's first nomination of a female national candidaThe new Republican running mates Arizona senator John McCain and Alaska Governor Sarah Palinte since its founding in 1854.

Not to mention easily erased any media mention of that celebratory night in Denver's Invesco Field -- when was it? -- a month ago.

It won't be a normal first day for the quadrennial party event. In deference to the immense circle of tumultuous tropical winds now known as Gustav, McCain canceled all first-day convention events save a perfunctory opening.

He said it was a time for Americans to be Americans together, not Republicans or Democrats. If Nature serves you a lemon, make lemonade.

We'll see what the rest of the week brings for scheduled events. For political purposes, to be honest, no one will say this out loud except the Ticket, but not having President Bush present to dominate a night's national TV coverage of McCain's convention is a fortunate byproduct of the schedule change.

But after a day of campaigning down south and in the Midwest with McCain, Palin arrived in St. Paul late last night with Cindy McCain, along with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Palin has no public events penciled in for today. But the presidential nominee's wife and sons are scheduled to have breakfast with the delegation of the possibly about-to-be storm-battered state of Louisiana. And wouldn't that be a swell time to bring along a surprise guest for a formal introduction?

We're just saying. (UPDATE: And we were wrong.)

According to Maria Comella, the pre-picked press secretary for Palin who used to work for a one-time Republican front-runner named Rudy Giuliani, Palin will spend the day in a mix of briefings, meetings with delegates and other governors and working on her acceptance speech for Wednesday night.

With her husband, Todd, and four of their five children en route to Alaska, Palin has reportedly already put some words to paper. Or into a laptop. Whatever.

Her fifth "child," Track, who's 19, is in the Army preparing for deployment to Iraq in two weeks while his mom prepares to deploy to political battleground states back home, with a special emphasis on the West, if our guess is right.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Photo credit: Stephan Savoia / Associated Press

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I wonder what happened to Karl Rove. The usually shrewd, machiavellian strategist of the Repugnicant cabal in D.C. is either slipping or deviously sabotaging McCain, who hasn't always danced to his mean-spirited tunes. Why else would he have cut the legs out from under the GOP's main talking point...Obama's "inexperience". Palin is probably a very nice lady but...well, you know the rest!

Palin thinks that God created the world 6000 years ago. So the geologic record, paleontology, astronomy, etc. -- all invented by God to fool us.

She is an idiot, and only idiots will vote for her.

Palin like McCain and the rest of the Rethuglican Party got nothing to offer the American people. We're fed up and not gonna take it any more!

Palin rocks. She is like most of the women I know, tough, hard working, strong. A fantastic pick for McCain. As someone who voted for Hillary this past election, my vote goes to McCain for such a great pick. McCain/Palin 08.

There is no VP who could make the McSame ticket viable as a way out of the disaster we're in. And most certainly not one with all the most abhorrent social policy opinions. It's like a cartoon of an election.

Think of it this way: Tell us all why you think your own mother is LESS qualified to run as VP. If you can't come up with a good argument, then vote for your mom instead. If you can, then shame on you for not honoring your parents.

I'm a bit confused - is John McCain against earmarks but his running mate is for them?

I noticed in todays LA Times that as mayor of Wasilla, she put in for earmarks, The New York times says she annually went to Washington to ask Senator Stevens ana Representative Young for earmarks.

And as for the "Bridge to No Where", she did ultimately kill it, but kept the money. Where did the $220 million in taxpayer money go. What project did it end up funding?
Her earmark request for 2009, include seal and sea lion biological research. That sounds alot like studing the DNA for bears.

Let's not call her a reformer, if she's just shifting the money's from one ridiculous project to another.

The New Republican Terminator has arrived, she is going to WOW them. I feel sorry for Joe "THE MOUTH" Biden. He has never faced a "TERMINATOR" before. She is his worst nightmare.

VJ Machiavelli

— Mayoral performance. Palin, who portrays herself as a fiscal conservative, racked up nearly $20 million in long-term debt as mayor of the tiny town of Wasilla — that amounts to $3,000 per resident. She argues that the debt was needed to fund improvements.

Toward the very bottom.

After cheerily capitalizing on the Hurricane and showing what good Americans they are by not pulling a 'Bush'... now their job is to convince us they are GOP without the administration's baggage... now they are a story of mavericks and corruption busters, blue collar folks for change.... huh? Ah, that's right, she was commissioner of oil and gas before a 1.5 year grooming with the new label... McCain is still spending oil corporation's millions... she was before the bridge to nowhere until about 1.5 years fact, she became a GOP potential candidate about 1.5 years ago... hmmmmm..... anybody connecting the dots yet?

Gov. Sarah Palin rocks, I was at the rally in PA.

The chants of Sar-ah, Sar-ah, were incredible.

Sarah Palin is a great choice for the Republican V.P.
She reminds me of "a female Mitt Romeny" without the "baggage" of being a wealthy, Mormon, white man.
And she is "Tougher in Alaska" tough. She should gain alot of votes for McCain.

I think McCain is a toon, I got out my old copy of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", and did some research. That would account for his strange actions (the only other explanation is the onset of alzheimer's).
Maybe some of the protesters can try the "Shave and a haircut" and see if he jumps up and yells "Two bits". A maverick or a toon, you decide.
Another thing he can do to reassure the voters is undergo extensive testing for dementia, it could be alzheimer, in which case he needs to be tucked away in a nursing home for the rich, something most American's can't afford.
Palin?? what kind of mother would leave her needy newborn as well as her state which is presently locked in a life or death struggle with Russian influence infiltrating across the Berin Straits to go to a meaningless political ritual aimed at the continuing the enslavement of the American people and by extension all decent working people everywhere.

Wild rumors surround her. I have one easy request. Show me the public record birth certificate for Trig, Palin's newborn.

Bree VandeCamp with eyeglasses.

Only in Republican America would a black man with a law degree from Harvard, 12 years in politics, four years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and manager of one of the most impressively flawless and forward thinking presidential campaigns ever not be ready for the presidency while a white female evangelical with 19 months in national politics and a bachelors in journalism is considered "ready on day one.

so true.

Who is Trig's Mother - Sarah or Bristol Palin ???

The Re-creation of Sarah Plain has begun. This former city councilwoman and mayor of 6500-population Wasilla--and fledgling governor/hockey mom riding in on a wave of corruption that would have probably allowed Fritz the Cat a good shot at being elected--is now COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE ALASKA NATIONAL GUARD! and a FIGHTER AGAINST CORRUPTION! even though she faces corruption charges of her own, as she did even as mayor of tiny Wasilla, where there are a few bars and a Target store. She STOPPED THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE! even though, as it turns out, she was for it until she found out it looked better if she was agin it.

Her candidacy is just such a slap at this nation. This individual may be bright and tough, but she is so far from ready to face Putin and Kim Il Sung and the rest that it shocks the rational mind to consider she might suddenly become our commander in chief. John McCain's judgment is a truly frightening thing to behold.

Barack Obama, despite all the partisan talk of his "lack of experience," has a law degree from Harvard University, where he edited the Harvard Law Review (try it sometime, blogger guys). He taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago, and he rejected the chance to make big bucks in favor of helping displaced workers find their feet again. He spent seven years in the Illinois state legislature, where he helped pass abundant legislation. He's been a US senator for three, during which he's also worked on a number of important bills, including anti-corruption legislation and a major nuclear nonproliferation bill he pushed through with Republican Richard Lugar. He's also got the ear of the entire planet and is one of the most effective communicators of our generation.

To compare Sarah Palin's "experience" with Barack Obama's is a joke. To imagine her as the leader of the free world is a nightmare.

Happy 72nd birthday, Sen. McCain.

It should be embarrassing for a US presidential candidate to select a super-rookie who is under a cloud of investigation for all kinds of official improprieties. That's OK because McCain's selection just energizes and convinces iindependent voters to vote for the Obama-Biden ticket.

I am a Romney supporter and I am insulted by the choice of Palin for VP. McCain was pressured into chosing her over an ecomomic experienced Romeny because Romney wasn't the kind of "Christain" for the GOP. I will not be voting for McCain. We need leaders, not Chrsitian panderers like Bush.

Sarah Palin: role model and action hero. She gets the bad guys and loves her family! Awesome!

She's a hunter, birthed five babies, runs 7 to 10 miles a day to let off steam, and kicks butt in office. She's a reformer. She does what Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer and Hillary just talk about. She sold the Governor's plane and flies commercial, drives her own car, fired the Governor's cook and deals with family meals like the rest of us! She's one of us! But better than that, she cleans house in office!
She throws the bums out! That's her experience. She sees corruption in big business and politicians cozy and getting rich together on the backs of the taxpayers and she acts! She's got a track record to prove it.
She doesn't accept business as usual. She's on the side of the working man and woman, of the small business owner, of the lover of liberty. She's got all the experience she needs to do what Americans want now: Clean up Congress.

She appeals to women, Hispanics with deep family values, to defenders of the Second Amendment and to the independents who have left both parties in disgust. The more we know, the more we love our action hero, Sarah Palin. Now that's a woman! Go Sarah, go!

I just don't understand that line of thinking.

Barack Obama is running for President.
He has no executive experience.
Sarah Palin, the GOP candidate for ***VP*** does.

Barack Obama has no foreign policy experience.
John McCain, the GOP candidate for ***President*** does.

THAT's what a normal Presidential ticket looks like.

George Bush is the one who turned that idea over on it's head, by selecting Dick Cheney to make up for everything he didn't know as POTUS about foreign policy. We all know how that turned out.

The Obama-Biden ticket resembles the the Bush-Cheney ticket. Obama selected Biden to make up for his lack of foreign policy experience.

That's not how or why McCain selected his.
There is no parallel. Sarah Palin wasn't put on the GOP ticket for the same reason that Biden was put on the Dem ticket. Apples and oranges.

By the way, I'm getting the idea that Barack Obama has a new campaign slogan.

It goes something like this:

(I'm Barack Obama and I approve of this message)
"With my infallible judgment...
My vast experience in these matters...
And my god-given talents...
I solemnly warn you, my fellow Americans...
The other GUY is gonna DIE!
So... Vote for ME!!!!"

If the truth be known, Joe Biden has documented health problems that, statistically, make it more likely that he would die in office before John McCain.

Let's not go there with either ticket, okay?

As Stephanie Tubbs and Robert Byrd so eloquently prove...
None of us are god, even Obama.

I'm all for opinon and passion in politics, but the hatred in some of these commetns is just nauseating. All these vile comments by people hiding behind dorky screen names making these vicious attacks on people they don't even know. The Internet really can be a cesspool at times. Unlike you cowards, I'm signing my real name.

The choice of Palin was the most blatantly sexist thing I have seen a politician do. It is obvious to everyone he chose Palin to help steal "disgruntled" Hillary supporters, et al.

Although McCain had other candidates more qualified for the office of VP, he chose a far less experienced one...because he needs everything he can get to win the election - with no regard for the country.

Pail would be be no more to McCain than the trophy VP and the co-First Lady.

I'm sorry to look mean but to be completely sincere, I do not see much bright light in Palin's eyes. Not that there is a total absence of it but she has dead eyes, probably portraying her empty snake soul...


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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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