Party in Power, Running as if It Weren’t
By Peter Baker
The New York Times
ST. PAUL — The nominee’s friend described him as a “restless reformer who will clean up Washington.” His defeated rival described him going to the capital to “drain that swamp.” His running mate described their mission as “change, the goal we share.” And that was at the incumbent party’s convention.
After watching two political conclaves the last two weeks, it would be easy to be confused about which was really the gathering of the opposition. As Senator John McCain accepted the Republican nomination for president, he and his supporters sounded the call of insurgents seeking to topple the establishment, even though their party heads the establishment.
This was, of course, part Mr. McCain’s nature and part political calculation. It was also part history. For the first time since 1952, the party holding the White House has nominated someone other than the sitting president or vice president, someone without a vested interest in running on continuity, and at a moment when the party finds it difficult to defend its record from the last eight years.
The effort to position Mr. McCain and the Republicans as the true agents of change benefited this week from his selection of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate. Known for taking on her own state party over corruption and wasteful spending, Ms. Palin projects the image of the ultimate Washington outsider, literally from more than 2,800 miles outside the Capital Beltway. And she would be the first woman to serve as vice president....(Click here for remainder of article).
By Jason George and Andrew Zajac
JUNEAU, Alaska — When Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin sought to illustrate her frugality and flair to delegates at the GOP convention Wednesday, she described how she disposed of a corporate jet acquired by her unpopular predecessor.
"That luxury jet was over the top," Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, said to loud cheers. "I put it on eBay."
Palin's statement implied the plane was sold through the online auction site revered for empowering millions of small entrepreneurs, and Palin's spokeswoman insisted Thursday that the transaction occurred. But the plane failed to sell on eBay.
Instead, the 23-year-old 10-seat Westwind II was sold in August 2007 for $2.1 million to a Valdez, Alaska, entrepreneur; that's about $300,000 less than a broker's asking price, according to news accounts.
Also, while Palin characterized the plane as an extravagance of former Gov. Frank Murkowski, who arranged for its purchase in November 2005, the plane saw heavy use transporting Alaskan convicts....(Click here for remainder of article).
This is great! Joe Biden rips John McCain, Sarah Palin, and the Republicans a new one. KEEP IT UP JOE!
By Kate Klonick
Okay, the McCain-Walter Reed Middle School backdrop debacle is getting weirder by the second. Now the principal of the school is hammering McCain for using footage of the school during his convention speech without seeking the school's permission.
Here's the statement from Donna Tobin, the principal...
"It has been brought to the school's attention that a picture of the front of our school, Walter Reed Middle School, was used as a backdrop at the Republican National Convention. Permission to use the front of our school for the Republican National Convention was not given by our school nor is the use of our school's picture an endorsement of any political party or view."
One other interesting development: The California Democratic Party is actually holding a press conference in front of the school within minutes, where Dems will hit McCain for not knowing the difference between the school and Walter Reed Medical Center, which is believed to be the backdrop the McCain campaign really wanted.
Though multiple news organizations are asking for clarification, the McCain campaign is still refusing to comment on questions about whether it had hoped to use the medical center as a backdrop and accidentally used the school instead. Hard to blame them...
Late update: Shortly after posting this, we got an email from Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member Tamar Galatzan who represents Walter Reed as part of her district. She had her own thoughts on McCain's use of the middle school:
"Though I am flattered that Senator McCain chose to use a school from my district as backdrop to his remarks at the Republican National Convention, I wished he had checked with me first. As a strong believer in public education, I don't think the Senator is the most appropriate person to showcase one of the premier schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He is unwilling to bring fairness and equity to No Child Left Behind and ensure that schools like Reed get the resources they need from the Federal Government. From what I've heard, that's not a priority for the McCain/Palin ticket."
By Dana Milbank
The Washington Post
ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 4-"You all know, I've been called a maverick," John McCain declared Thursday night as he accepted the Republican presidential nomination.
Indeed he had. Over and over again through the evening's program. "Some people call him a maverick," said former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, one of McCain's warm-up acts. "May we summon ourselves to our best efforts and call this maverick forward."
"The original maverick," said another speaker, David Cappiello.
Convention organizers distributed hand-painted signs announcing "Maverick." Biographical videos proclaimed the "maverick" status of McCain and his vice presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
But the most striking thing about the message of the maverick Thursday night was how conventional it was. There were the requisite references to Sept. 11, including a video showing, to an ominous bass, the planes hitting the towers and the towers collapsing. "We remember buildings burning, bodies falling," the narrator said. There were the mandatory multiple warnings about "a dangerous world," leading to McCain's assurance that "we face many threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them; I'm prepared for them."...(Click here for remainder of article).
Posted by Bret M-C at 7:31 AM