I just watched Hannity and Colmes. Here are some reactions.
1. Sarah Palin looked hot! Black is certainly her color. And that hair! It’s kind of like Paula Jones’ style after she (Paula) fixed herself up, and that’s a compliment. I like it better than her (Sarah’s) usual bee-hive.
2. She offered her usual cliches (e.g., “return government to the people,” “reform”), but she spoke calmly and with conviction. I’m glad she got to speak to the American people in a relaxed atmosphere. There’s a time for grilling, which was her experience last week. And there’s a time for even her to receive the sorts of soft-balls that Charlie Gibson threw to Barack Obama. She also displayed her knowledge of energy and talked about her tax-cutting record as governor of Alaska.
3. For those who are interested, she said that she dressed up as Tina Fey before Tina Fey dressed up like her.
4. “Bipartisanship” was one of her cliches. I’m skeptical that this will happen, regardless of who gets the White House. Politicians get votes by opposing the other party. Hopefully, both parties will find common ground on important issues. But I can’t picture Harry Reid working with John McCain on everything, especially after McCain and Palin have criticized him throughout their campaign. Remember what Palin said about Reid: he can’t stand John McCain! But a Republican in the White House with a Democratic Congress can result in something good: each will block the other’s spending proposals. That’s what happened during the Clinton Administration, which was why we had a budget surplus and a booming economy. Gridlock can be a good thing, believe it or not!
5. Where’s McCain on deregulation of the lending industry? It turns out that he voted for Phil Gramm’s deregulation bill, which Bill Clinton signed (see here). But he also supported a 2005 regulatory reform bill. Did he flip-flop in light of new information? Does he believe that certain regulations are unnecessary, while maintaining that there still needs to be oversight by the federal government?
6. I thought I heard Hannity sigh while Alan Colmes was speaking. Please, Sean, don’t imitate Al Gore! In 2000, I wasn’t planning to vote for Gore in the first place, but that sigh confirmed my decision.
7. Hannity said that McCain received money from individuals, not Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. At least that’s what I think I heard. I wonder what he means by that. Most of what Obama got from Freddie and Fannie was from individuals, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ own chart (see here). Granted, the CRP chart shows that McCain got far less than Obama, and that (unlike Obama) he didn’t receive money from the PACs associated with those companies. But the chart Hannity is using says Obama got most of the money from individuals.
Of course, as I said to Bryan under my post, McCain Foresaw the Problem, there’s a lot that I don’t understand about that chart. It has to be more than an employee writing his own check to Obama or McCain. How would the candidates even know the check was from an employee of Fannie and Freddie? I think the donation is somehow under the auspices of those companies. I’m just not sure how.
8. Palin said that McCain welcomes people who disagree with him. Karl Rove pointed this out. The reason that’s refreshing, though, is that it’s the exact opposite of how we’re told the Bush Administration runs things. Also, did Sarah Palin tolerate dissent within her own administrations? People have said “no.” Personally, I think she comes across as open-minded. But maybe she wanted people she could work with, who weren’t trying to undermine her every move. There’s nothing wrong with replacing the old guard!
9. How many lobbyists work for John McCain’s campaign? How long were they lobbyists? How’s their number compare with the overall size of his staff? How’s that compare to Barack Obama? These were the issues that got brought up in Alan Colmes’ debate with Karl Rove.
10. Palin said that energy independence is good because more dollars can flow within the United States. Wouldn’t that make a good argument for trade protectionism in general? Maybe. Maybe not. The problem now is that 70% of our oil is imported. That’s a pretty serious deficit! Plus, while we perhaps can be self-sufficient in terms of energy, that may not be as feasible in other areas. We need things that the rest of the world has, and we prosper when the rest of the world buys our stuff. And free trade can bring prices down, which is why protectionism is counter-productive. But, right now, the fact that we’re not producing enough energy is giving us high prices, so we need to be self-sufficient.
More tomorrow! I hope I’ll be home in time to listen to Hannity’s radio show, where he’ll have more of the interview.
“It turns out that he voted for Phil Gramm’s deregulation bill, which Bill Clinton signed”
One of the things the Phil Gramm deregulation bill did was lead to rolling California energy blackouts culminating in Enron.
Hi Stan. Ann Coulter says that it was the deregulation plus the price controls that caused the black-outs. Enron was producing, and it couldn’t cover its costs by raising prices, and so it shut the electricity down.