Not Ready For Prime Time Palin

Sam Stein at HuffPo picks up on what he calls Sarah Palin's first gaffe over the weekend.

Gov. Sarah Palin made her first potentially major gaffe during her time on the national scene while discussing the developments of the perilous housing market this past weekend.

Speaking before voters in Colorado Springs, the Republican vice presidential nominee claimed that lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had "gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers."

McClatchy does some fact checking.

McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, speaking in Colorado Springs, Colo., said Fannie and Freddie had "gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers." The companies, however, aren't taxpayer funded but operate as private companies.

The irony, of course, is that:

The takeover may result in a taxpayer bailout during reorganization.

As even the conservative Cato Institute concedes:

"Heretofore, if the treasury had a balance sheet there would have been a liability but there was never a taxpayer payment before [the bailout]," said Gerald P. O'Driscoll, an economist with the Cato Institute. "[Fannie and Freddie] were not taxpayer funded. They had taxpayer guarantee, which is worth something, especially in the stock market..."

Palin clearly knows nothing about this. But hey, at least, as David Brooks told us on This Week yesterday, she's really hard working and she's studying up! I feel better now!

It's not surprising, I suppose, that this gaffe wouldn't really blow up -- so far -- since the inner workings of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren't exactly kitchen table discussion fodder, and there might be some reluctance to lower people's expectations about Palin's knowledge base and thus set her up to far exceed them in coming interviews and debates. But the reason this gaffe should be significant and should be pushed far and wide is that Palin's lack of understanding about these institutions plays into what should be the Obama campaign's central message: the McCain/Palin ticket can not be trusted to turn around the economy because they really just don't know that much about it. Many pundits have said this and I agree -- Obama should own the economy as an issue and the fact that he doesn't at this point is a problem.

Tags: Economy, John McCain, Sarah Palin (all tags)



Re: Not Ready For Prime Time Palin

TEFLON PALIN nothing sticks to her.  Not even a Fannie Mae debacle.

by nzubechukwu 2008-09-08 11:17AM | 0 recs
Not sure most people will understand this

and her comment has some truth to it.  Not a direct cost, but a potential liability, and the current rescue plan calls for these firms to have much smaller balance sheets than they did before the crash (like half the size).  In that sense she is lending support to the plan to get the size of these entities under control.

I am sure that a wonderful gaffe is coming, but this ain't it.

by activatedbybush 2008-09-08 11:21AM | 0 recs

For practical purposes, a "gaffe" is a statement that can be held up for easy ridicule with a minimum of explanation, with the best gaffes being those that are so ridiculous that they don't require any explanation at all.  

Palin may have been technically incorrect when she said that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had "gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers" (although you could debate whether an unofficial but nevertheless potential liability on the government's books represents a "cost" to taxpayers).  Still, I imagine it would be hard (impossible) to get traction on this since she said it the same day it became clear that . . . the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will likely cost taxpayers billions.  Somehow, I don't see this making its way into an ad.  

by Mose 2008-09-08 12:55PM | 0 recs

For gaffes see

Obama: "My Muslim faith"

Kerry: "I was for the war before I was against it"

Gore:  Hovering over Bush like a bully in the 2000 debate

Sorry to pick on the democrats but these are the ones that came first to mind ;-(

by activatedbybush 2008-09-08 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Not Ready For Prime Time Palin

This really is a non-issue.  Obama and Biden make gaffes similar to this all the time.  How about fight her on the issues and stop swift boating her.

by karajan72 2008-09-08 11:22AM | 0 recs
The Issue Here

Is that she doesn't know what she's talking about.  That's a pretty big issue!  And this has nothing to do with swiftboating (uncovering truths or spreading lies about the past of your opponent)...

by thurst 2008-09-08 12:10PM | 0 recs
No I think you miss the point

We have to swift boat her and mccain, but let's do it on things with impact.

We need to paint her as a pork rolling cronyist who abuses her power to get at her enemies.   An incompetant mayor whose major project wasn't even properly vetted.   A religious fanatic who would step on the rights of others.   A gun nut who hunts wolves with a machine gun from helicopters.  This is the picture of this woman we need to paint.  

McCain needs some paint too.   He is an angry old man who sings songs about bombing other countries, who is wishy washy on torture despite being tortured himself.  He's a man who left his first wife for a younger richer model.  He has no loyalty or character.  He graduated bottom of his class at the naval academy - he isn't smart enough for the job, he doesn't have the leadership qualities for the job.   He's a spineless sycophant who nuzzled into Bush's shoulder after promising reform.   He's a racist - he was opposed to MLK day becoming a holiday in Arizona.   He's out of touch - he doesn't even use the internet, and confesses to having no knowledge of economic matters.  He's an uncaring elitist - doesn't even know how many homes he owns, and wants to retain tax cuts for the billionaires while borrowing from the commie mandarins in Beijing to pay for them.  

John McCain is a sell out at all levels - he sold out his first wife, he sold out his reformist beliefs to get Bush love, and he is selling out this country.  Palin is a fraud, and John McCain is a spineless, angry, old, detatched, stupid sell-out.

That my good friends is how we need to describe these people.  I am sorry to say it.  It is not how I would like to run the race.  But it is what is necessary for us to prevail.

by activatedbybush 2008-09-08 01:46PM | 0 recs
Issue #1

What kind of fucktard person in public office do you have to be to freely admit that you don't know what a VP does?  Especially several months after your name has been kicked around as a possible running mate.


Make no mistake about it, this Gov. is one nasty piece of work, a true credit to the neocon faction.  A true operator who does not care about YOUR problems or anyone elses for that matter.  Totally incapable of empathy, a younger version of Cheney.

by mydailydrunk 2008-09-09 08:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Ready For Prime Palin
Linking Gov. Palin with Fannie Mae is yet another example of the extreme left attacking two great American women. I can only pray to Gov. Palin's God, that hard hitting journalist Charlie Gibson
will use this as yet another example of Communist blogs and their sexist attacks, when he gives his in-depth 2 day interview with Gov. Palin...
by nogo postal 2008-09-08 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Ready For Prime Palin


Yes, let us pray.

by Bush Bites 2008-09-11 11:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Not Ready For Prime Time Palin

well, since McCain has stated that he does not know that much about the economy, his veep choice should complement him on the knowledge he lacks.

but of course, it won't get noticed too much or some people will say she is brilliant because she is just like us - not too savvy on economics.

by colebiancardi 2008-09-08 11:25AM | 0 recs
You really don't get it

Here's what you should be doing. Build up Palin's rep enough to let her seem like a pitbull in lip stick. When her debate rolls around, you can then attack and win on these points. Right now, you seem to be continuing the theme of showing up m uch smarter we are then her. If we truly want to prove that- we must first manage expectations. making her seem dumb lowers the bar int he press for when she will eventually be seen by millions of americans. this is the difference between tactic (beat her now) and strategy (manage expectation to beat her when the audience will really get a chance to hear our critique) and thus also manage the post debate spin.

by bruh3 2008-09-08 11:32AM | 0 recs
Nearly 700,000 foreclosures so far in 2008

Its the economy, folks, their one gigantic weak spot.

Find a way to connect with these voters and exploit the fears of the 500,000 more who will lose their homes before the end of the year and you just might be getting somewhere.

Leave the catty stuff to daytime TV.

by Betsy McCall 2008-09-08 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Not Ready For Prime Time Palin

Obama needs to take ownership of this issue right now.  Where the F is he?!

by neko608 2008-09-08 11:41AM | 0 recs
The key point

is that she doesn't know enough to dodge questions she doesn't know. She's pontificating, and hopefully the attention is going to her head.

by Neef 2008-09-08 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Not Ready For Prime Time Palin many Republicans decided to join the site? I mean, it gets a little annoying but at least site traffic goes up

by werd2406 2008-09-08 11:47AM | 0 recs
It won't be an issue

It won't be an issue because the vast majority of Americans are as ignorant about Fannie and Freddie as she is.  This is a big gaffe, it shows how little she knows about the free market she and the republican base tout as the cure to all ills.  But the collective ignorance (willful ignorance imho) of the American electorate will once again make this a non-issue.

by shalca 2008-09-08 11:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Not Ready For Prime Time Palin

When are the VP debates?

by Hollede 2008-09-08 11:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Not Ready For Prime Time Palin

Thursday, October 2, at Washington University in St. Louis.

by KTinOhio 2008-09-08 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Not Ready For Prime Time Palin


by Hollede 2008-09-08 12:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Not Ready To Lead!

Todd one Question ?
How is this possible.
Sara Palin gives mybye on interview.
Makes no live press converence.
Is not available for the press.

Damned !

This women should be attacked relentlessly.

My Ad for Obama.

Sara Palin is not able to give interviews,
Live press converences
How should this women lead.

Sara Palin not ready to Lead !!!
John Mccain pickt her ???


and by the Way Sara Palin is now a celebrity

By the way I have heard on CNN about Sara Palin
"ROCKSTAR; The most important women in America"

by hpg 2008-09-08 12:05PM | 0 recs

I'm sure this will knock Brittany Spears right off the front page...

Nothing the public likes better than good juicy gossip about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac...

by SaveElmer 2008-09-08 12:06PM | 0 recs
Reality/TV 08!

Mark Davis is correct and that the campaign shouldn't be about issues at all, but rather about character, speeding our political conversation into a full blown reality show.

by cobsjo 2008-09-08 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Reality/TV 08!

If that's what they want, Obama should go new-clear by defining McCain as loose cannon, out-of-touch, crazy (old) man.

by neko608 2008-09-08 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Not Ready For Prime Time Palin

Now (since the gov't took them over) a case may be made that this is indeed true. Better look for a better gaffe than is.  Trying to make too much of this will be a mistake.

by Cal in California 2008-09-08 12:26PM | 0 recs
Attack like this?

The republicans say that Gov Palin has enough experience to be the President of the USA. Well, in only a year-and-a half of running the Alaskan Government, she is already the focus of an ethics investigation. That does sound like republican governance.

by IowaMike 2008-09-08 01:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Not Ready For Prime Time Palin

this is the type of thing you need to snowball.  wait for her tomake another six or seven like this (assuming she ever says anything unscripted) then montage them together in an ad with a "if john mccain doesn't have the judgement to choose a veep ready on day one, does he have the right judgement to be president."

by Doug Tuttle 2008-09-08 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Not Ready For Prime Time Palin

this is the type of thing you need to snowball.  wait for her tomake another six or seven like this (assuming she ever says anything unscripted) then montage them together in an ad with a "if john mccain doesn't have the judgement to choose a veep ready on day one, does he have the right judgement to be president."

by Doug Tuttle 2008-09-08 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Not Ready For Prime Time Palin

Not a gaffe, the truth. You and I will pay for this. Brought to you by the worst Congress in history.

by cuffy meigs 2008-09-08 03:47PM | 0 recs


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