Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

Category: Sarah Palin

Sunday shows: Ron Paul, Fugate, Warner, Powell

Texas Republican Representative Ron Pau

ABC's "This Week" with Jake Tapper: N.J. Gov. Chris Christie and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, with George Will, Donna Brazile, Ron Brownstein, Cokie Roberts, Robert Kagan, Robin Wright and Rajiv Chadrasakaren.

Bloomberg's "Political Capital" with Al Hunt: Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.).

CBS' "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer: Colin Powell on Martin Luther King Jr..

CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley: Hurricane Irene coverage.

Fox News Channel's "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace: Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Fugate, with Bill Kristol, Dana Perino, Mara Liasson and Juan Williams.

NBC's "Meet the Press" with David Gregory: Fugate with Jamie Gangel on Dick Cheney's new book, "In My Times," Katy Kay and Michael Dyson.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Why wait until Sunday for politics? Click here now to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle now. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share this item with friends.

Photo:Joshua Roberts / Bloomberg (Ron Paul).

ESPN warns analyst Paul Azinger over mocking tweet on nation's golfer-in-chief

Those piercing professional eyes of one of our faves, Dana Loesch, have spotted another disparity in media treatment of commentary on the nation's vacationer-in-chief and Republicans.Dana Loesch of bigjournalismdotcom

ESPN golf analyst and 12-time PGA Tour winner Paul Azinger put out a funny and biting tweet during this week of President Obama's famous vacation on Martha's Vineyard:

"Facts: POTUS has played more golf this month than I have; I have created more jobs this month than he has."

Friday, as Dana reports, ESPN "reminded" Azinger that his tweet was inconsistent with the social media policy of the company (corporate parent: Disney).

And that "political commentary is best left to those in that field."


Then Dana astutely wonders aloud what kind of warning verbal outlaw Kenny Mayne got for his twittered desire in June to wreak mechanical mayhem on a passing car, ramming it simply because it carried a Sarah Palin sticker. Presumably Mayne pulled over before tapping out his tweet.

Dana has tweet pix right here.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle.Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: BigJournalismdotcom

Sarah Palin's four-point plan on Libya

Sarah bPalin at Iowa State Fair 8-12-11

President Obama may still be dining with the elite at fancy island restaurants on Martha's Vineyard, but Sarah Palin is pondering the future of Libya and wisely pushing to wind down American involvement in that latest military entanglement.

Palin may not be in the race for her party's 2012 presidential nomination, but the Republican former governor released her four-point Libya plan late Thursday night to her 3.2 million fans on Facebook. Her first concern is to protect U.S. interests in that troubled land. 

"The fall of a tyrant and sponsor of terrorism is a great day for freedom-loving people around the world," she wrote. But then warned that the path to democracy is incomplete there and "we must make wise choices to ensure that our national interests are protected."

First, Palin said, the Obama White House must avoid celebrating too heartily and recall instead that tribal and sectarian fighting can erupt as it did in previous conflicts, such as in Kosovo, Bosnia and Iraq.

Second, Palin said, "history teaches that those with the guns usually prevail when a coalition overthrows a tyrant." And she warned the rebel command is an outgrowth of the Islamic Libya Fighting Group, some of whose commanders have links to Al Qaeda.

Third, Palin writes, "we should not commit U.S. troops or military assets to serve as peacekeepers or perform humanitarian missions or nation-building in Libya. Our military is already over-committed and strained, and a vaguely designed mission can be the first step toward a quagmire."

Finally, Palin said terrorist groups are trying to co-opt the Libyan revolution and the United States must use its intelligence assets to thwart that.


Sarah Palin's new campaign video

Obama on Libya: Mission Accomplished, almost

Palin grades Obama on the credit downgrade: 'Disgraceful and embarrassing'

-- Andrew Malcolm

Keep track of the Obama administration's latest military strikes by following The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: Sarah Palin makes an appearance on Aug. 12. Credit: Charles Dharapak / Associated Press

Joe Biden update: He visits China, ignites no war

joe Biden tries for the fashionable look by copying Sarah palin's eyeGlass style

Vice President Joe Biden was so phenomenally successful in driving the economic stimulus package to create a fraction of the jobs he promised and then headed several recent budget/deficit negotiations between congressional Democrats and Republicans, such that both sides now feel screwed.

As a reward, Joe was dispatched to Asia at this peak American vacation period. He just spent four days in China ostensibly to continue building a relationship with China's expected next leader, current vice president Xi Jingping.

But the real reason was to reassure Chinese leaders that their $1.2 trillion in U.S. federal debt was safe. And that it was one powerful wing of some political party other than his Democrats that caused all the trouble, which wouldn't be finally settled until Nov. 6, 2012.

Biden's pro forma reassurance, in light of Biden's famous predictions all last year of Democrats holding their large majorities in both houses of Congress, brings to mind a little-known Danish proverb, tillid, men kontrollere. (Trust, but verify.)

Joe also tried on a fresh public fashion look in China. Of course, he did not change his penchant for dark suits and dark shoes and wearing his hair up. But he donned eyeglasses that made some people think of someone else. But her name escapes us right now.

Today, JB is in Mongolia for a few hours because these vice presidential foreign junkets need three stops to look worthy and sufficiently productive to be paid by taxpayers. Monday night the Democrat will arrive in Tokyo for two days of reassuring our top northern Asia ally, as American officials must whenever they seem to pay more attention to Beijing.

But it was Biden's time in China that was key. He showed up at a Georgetown University basketball competition with a local team that included some undiplomatic confrontations. He had considerable private facetime with Xi Jingping. Like too many American officials overseas not named Jon Huntsman, Biden found himself having to apologize for not speaking Chinese.

He answered some questions from students, suggesting that Americans have ingenuity built into their DNA and that openness in government tends to make societies more stable, not less. This from the fellow who's met with the administration's head of transparency efforts and closed the meetings both times.

Biden also watched high school students play on basketball courts built by the NBA. And then the vice president himself took a half-dozen shots. He missed all but one, crediting the AFL-CIO with the lone basket and blaming the missed five on Republicans protecting their wealthy donors.

Just kidding. Although no one asked Biden, he blamed the missed shots on "jet lag."

Caused by Republicans.

Just kidding.


Yes, Joe did call GOP opponents 'terrorists'

Obama administration job approval hits a new low

Top creditor nation China issues new demands to U.S. after downgrade 

-- Andrew Malcolm

Keep up with the news by following The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photos: Lintao Zhang / Getty Images AsiaPac (Biden in China); Getty Images (Palin).

Sarah Palin's noncampaign campaign-style video 'Iowa Passion'


Sarah Palin has a new video out.

President Obama headed to Iowa on a bus tour shortly after the Ames Straw Poll, but it wasn't a campaign trip, he said. Sarah Palin took her "One Nation" bus tour to Iowa shortly before the Ames Straw Poll, but it wasn't a campaign trip.

Well, we know at least Obama is actually running for reelection -- and we wouldn't be a bit surprised if his shiny new buses showed up again then -- but if Palin isn't....

Continue reading »

Obama and Lincoln: trash-talking, Civil War-era style


On Tuesday, during a town hall meeting in Decorah, Iowa, on his non-campaign campaign-style bus tour, President Obama remarked on political rancor of the past, saying, "Lincoln, they used to talk about him almost as bad as they talk about me."

(Click here for the full text, courtesy of

The Great Emancipator certainly was the target of his share of political trash talk. Of course, the nation was being torn asunder in the bloody and protracted Civil War, which tended to make people cranky, but even so, some of this stuff is harsh.

For example, consider this 1919 letter to the editors in the New York Times, published during the  administration of Progressive Democrat Woodrow Wilson, called "In Lincoln's Day: Examples of the Kind of Attack a President Had to Endure Then."

The writer, Frederick Francis Cook, thanked the Times for an inspiring article on Wilson, saying, "And especially pleasing was the way in which you douched the spirit of that fiery patriot Mr....

Continue reading »

Joe Biden update: His GOP 'terrorists' quote reaffirmed

an iowa protester in peosta carries a sign referring to joe biden calling tea party members terrorists aug 2011

So, did Vice President Joe Biden really liken Republican House "tea party" members to terrorists during the debt deal roughhousing, just as President Obama was publicly professing a desire for political civility?

In a way, it doesn't matter anymore, because the belief that he did has hardened like cement (see the photo above, the protester on the right, all the way out in Iowa).

In an unusual move within the fraternities of Washington journalism, Politico, which broke the original hot story, issued a reaffirmation of the piece Wednesday, apparently in response to another Washington news organization questioning Politico's sources as "dubious."

To refresh your memory, hours after Biden met behind closed doors with unhappy....

Continue reading »

Pawlenty's gone, so who's the next Republican to fold?


Rick Santorum waits to speak at Lincoln Day Dinner Black Hawk County Iowa 8-14-11

Most of the attention on the Black Hawk County Lincoln Dinner Sunday night was focused on two speakers -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the newest entrant in the Republican presidential race, and Rep. Michele Bachmann, the Waterloo native who felt the need to appear too once Perry's attendance was confirmed.

Perry, who's now surged to a double-digit lead in the GOP field in one new poll, came early, schmoozed from table to table, took his turn with the microphone and listened to all the other speakers, including an interminable presentation by a Lincoln lookalike.

Bachmann, who won the Ames Straw Poll, came late, demanded different lighting, missed her entrance cue and talked briefly with attendees.

But there was another candidate in the Electric Park Ballroom, former two-term Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, the Rodney Dangerfield of the GOP field so far in 2011.

When his turn arrived, Santorum ignited audience laughter when he said that as the evening's undercard, he was expected to speak briefly.

So he did.

Will he be the next GOP campaign dropout? Santorum finished fourth at Ames, worse even than Pawlenty, who said he needed a strong showing to maintain sufficient donor interest. The Minnesotan didn't get it and pulled the plug the next day on his substantial Iowa ground operation.

But Santorum had much less invested in Iowa, other than miles and time. And fourth place for him seemed better than expected. So he postponed his return to Pennsylvania and went to the Waterloo dinner to continue his quiet guerrilla struggle for support as a conservative alternative to Mitt Romney in hopes that Perry and Bachmann somehow knock each other off.

Santorum pecks away at Bachmann much as Pawlenty did, for her alleged lack of congressional accomplishments, and at Perry for his seemingly diffident same-sex marriage stance.

Or what about Herman Cain, the pizza godfather? Probably not, not yet anyway.

Gallup compiles what it calls a Positive Intensity Score, a measure of a candidate's strength of support. Although he regularly polls down in the pack, Cain's intensity is the highest among Republicans, 25. Next already is Perry's at 23 followed by Bachmann at 20 and usual poll leader and top moneyraiser Romney stuck at 15. The undeclared Sarah Palin also has 15 and Rudy Giuliani has 20.

Ron Paul finished a close second at Ames and his devoted disciples wouldn't let him quit even if he was discouraged by his disappointing intensity score of 11.

According to the same score, the weakest remaining GOP candidate now is Newt Gingrich at only three. But his debate appearances help his other business, selling books, DVDs and maintaining his speaking fees.

Jon Huntsman's intensity score is only four and Santorum's isn't much better at six. So, watch for one of them to fade, especially if Santorum's fundraising stalls back home.


Could Ron Paul win the Iowa caucuses?

Americans downgrade Congress to historic low 13% job approval

For Perry, Bachmann and Romney, it's all about the hands -- and eyes

-- Andrew Malcolm

For refreshing commentary on politics, follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images (Santorum, the one without a hat, waits to speak at the Black Hawk County Lincoln Dinner, Aug. 14).

Ames straw poll: Michele Bachmann beats Ron Paul -- by 152 votes


Rep. Michele Bachmann won the Ames straw poll today, but only by 152 votes over fellow Rep. Ron Paul.

Tim Pawlenty came in third with only about half the votes of Paul. Rick Santorum was fourth followed by Herman Cain (scroll down for vote totals).

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who wasn't on the Ames ballot and declared his candidacy only this afternoon in Charleston, S.C., before conservative writers, pulled something of an upset.

With only write-in votes, Perry topped Mitt Romney by about 200. They were both trailed by Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman and Thaddeus McCotter.

 The quadrennial straw poll was held in the Hilton Coliseum at Iowa State University, also....

Continue reading »

Sarah Palin, in Iowa, still sees room for others in the Republican field

Sarah Palin at the Iowa state Fair 8-12-11

It may not surprise you a whole lot to learn that despite the already months-long campaign, the two major debates, the Ames (Iowa) straw poll tomorrow and Texas Gov. Rick Perry's imminent entry into the GOP race, Sarah Palin still thinks there's room in the crowd for more.

As long as they have executive experience, of course. And are common-sense conservatives.

Coincidental to absolutely nothing, Palin appeared at the politico-magnet Iowa State Fair today, continuing her "One Nation" bus tour in the nation's first nominating state.

"There is still plenty of room in that field for common-sense conservatives who have executive experience," Palin said during a fair visit. "Watching the debate not just last night but watching this whole process over the last year it certainly shows me that yeah, there is plenty of room for more people."

Tomorrow just up the road from Des Moines is the Ames, where the straw poll means nothing and everything at the same time. (C-SPAN and Fox News Channel all day.)

Nothing because it has no binding value on anyone to do anything; it just gives the media something to get excited about in mid-summer. Everything because success or failure in just a few thousand PR ballot totals will catapult or doom some of the lesser-known candidacies.

Palin is not participating, but she will return to Iowa over Labor Day to keynote a tea party rally and -- who knows? -- perhaps see if there's still room in the Republican nominating race for someone with executive experience like, say, a former governor with a documentary movie coming out to wider release then.

Palin said she was pleased that her friend Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, was presumably entering the nomination contest tomorrow during a speech to online conservative writers in Charleston, S.C. "I appreciate that he is willing to jump into this arena," she added.

Hmmm, "this" arena? Meaning the one she's in too? Without saying so?

After his remarks to the RedState Gathering in South Carolina, Perry will fly to New Hampshire for a reception and then speak on Sunday in Iowa -- coincidentally, in Waterloo, the hometown of fellow Republican candidate Michele Bachmann.

Also coincidentally, after the Perry schedule came out recently, Bachmann agreed to speak at the very same Sunday event.

What a small world!


What to watch for in the Ames Straw Poll

Did Ron Paul win the GOP debate in Ames Thursday?

Sarah Palin grades Obama on the downgrade: 'Disgraceful and embarrassing'

-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle.Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: Sarah Palin at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 12. Credit: Charles Dharapak / Associated Press


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

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.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: