Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 28, 2009
BLOG: Quick Links 10/28/09

*Josh Painter looks at how the latest financial disclosure forms tell the story of the intense financial pressure put on Sarah Palin by the stream of bogus ethics complaints filed by left-wing bloggers, culminating in the complaint that prevented her from accessing funds raised for her legal defense. It certainly makes a compelling case why an ordinary person in Palin's shoes would step down rather than be driven under by the expenses. Whether that's enough to absolve her as a potential presidential candidate is another matter; we tend to expect potential presidents not to act like ordinary people. Of course, most politicians would have escaped the mounting debts by writing a book or giving speeches for money, but Palin may have felt, not without reason, that any such activities while serving as governor would lead to further ethics complaints that would tie up those sources of income as well. Meanwhile, Melissa Clouthier looks at a CNN poll finding 70% of the public currently thinks Palin unqualified to be president.

I'm not picking a horse for 2012 yet, nor will I until after 2010. It's unclear if Palin will run, anyway. I do know a few things. One, for reasons I've been through many times, I'd much prefer to support a more experienced candidate - we're not the Democrats, after all, who have permanently forfeited the right to say anything on this subject by backing Obama - and the fact that people in my position are even open to Palin at all at this juncture is a sign of the weakness of the field so far. Two, Palin has proven to be extraordinarily effective at retaining the public's interest and even at exercising her influence as a guerilla opposition leader armed with nothing more than a Facebook page; by mostly absenting herself from the public eye except for Facebook and a few op-eds and obscure speeches, she's kept 'em wanting more (witness the explosive early pre-orders for her book, which non-fiction publishing people viewed as unprecedented), while still driving the public debate (i.e., "death panels"). But the Newt Gingrich experience is vivid proof for Republicans that effective guerillas don't always make good leaders when they come into power.

Whichever way Palin chooses to go, the book tour (including the appearance on Oprah, who is naturally hostile but not really accustomed to tough interviews) will be a sort of second coming-out for her on the public stage that will be critical and should reveal whether she has spent well her time out of the limelight in terms of boning up for future policy debates. We'll be able to assess her future much better in a few months.

*Meanwhile, a man to watch if he gets persuaded to run is Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. (H/T) I'll have more on him another day...upside: Daniels is serious, tough-minded, won re-election in Indiana in 2008 (while it was carried by Obama) after being given up for politically dead in 2006 (when his low approval ratings were blamed as a cause for heavy GOP House losses in the state, paralleling a similar trend in Ohio and Kentucky). Downside: Daniels is as yet reluctant to run (recall how well that worked out with Rudy and Fred), and as a public speaker he's dry as dust.

*The Democratic circular firing squad over health care continues. And Jay Cost explains why the continuing threat to Lieberman from the Left has made it politically necessary for him to oppose the public option.

*Dan Riehl looks at how the GOP made the disastrous decision in the Congressional race in NY's 23d district to nominate Dede Scozzafava, who now seems likely to finish third in that race. Meanwhile, Newsbusters notices that the NY Daily News still refuses to acknowledge the existence of Doug Hoffman, the Conservative candidate in the race. Jim Geraghty is unsparing on the folly of Newt's continuing support for Scozzafava.

*George W. Bush, motivational speaker - without a teleprompter. The WaPo seems astonished that a man who won something on the order of 110 million votes in two national elections is actually a decent speaker. Key quote from Bush: "It's so simple in life to chase popularity, but popularity is fleeting."

*On the anniversary of his death, Bill Kristol remembers Dean Barnett.

*Naturally, he's retracted it, but you can't top Anthony Weiner's initial assessment of Alan Grayson as being "one fry short of a Happy Meal."

*Interesting breakdown of TV ad rates.

*ABA Journal on the tragic saga of Mark Levy.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:48 PM | Blog 2006-13 • | Law 2009-13 • | Politics 2009 • | Politics 2012 • | Pop Culture | Comments (19) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Daniels spoke at my law school graduation and I didn't think he was that bad of a speaker. He's certainly more of a technical guy than a charisma guy. Which might be exactly what the country is looking for in 2012. I think he's also a good campaigner in one-on-one situations or with a small group.

Posted by: per14 at October 28, 2009 3:46 PM

There was an article a few years ago, maybe in the National Review, about the difference between being conservative and being A conservative. The point of the article being that GWB was conservative on some issues but not a true conservative. A point that gets driven home with his increases in social spending and centralizing of more power in the federal govt.

What I am looking for in 2012 is a candidate who is A conservative. Who will halt the growth of the central govt. and start rolling back its role to what is clearly defined in the Constitution.

We need to start rollback-pursuing containment will only slow the growth of the cancer known as Big Government. Over time the left will win. Names of true conservatives I hear are people like Thune, Coburn, Pence, Shadegg.

Huckabee and Romney are not the answers. Don't know enough about Pawlenty and lets see how Palin is viewed going forward.

Posted by: dch at October 28, 2009 4:02 PM

Thanks for the link!

- JP

Posted by: Josh Painter at October 28, 2009 4:28 PM

BTW-Yankees in 6, 5 if they win tonight

Posted by: dch at October 28, 2009 6:50 PM

The great temptation in backing Palin is that, if enough of us do so, the response of the leftoids would be hilarious. All she'd have to be is competitive and they'd friggin' implode. It'd be something to see, that's for certain.

The Levy piece was just horrible. I was so hoping I'd enjoy a dead lawyer story, but he just wasn't the kind of lawyer you want to see dead. That makes (made) him nearly unique.

It seems he was a dolphin swimming with sharks.

Posted by: spongeworthy at October 28, 2009 7:22 PM

Personally, I hope Palin doesn't run in '12 and does the Reagan thing for a while (btw, came across an old Dean Martin celeb roast of Frank Sinatra & Reagan was one of the grillers). 2012 is over, folks, over. We've seen what the media can do when they collectively decide to toss their credibility overboard: make an inexperienced teleprompter reader appear Jesus-like and qualified while at the same time presenting the most popular sitting governor as a hick-town bimbo who shouldn't be elected county Coroner. If you doubt me, let me remind you of what the collective media just did to Rush Limbaugh this month, based on fake quotes and out-of-context bits from his show (you know, the sort of thing that is off limits if you're a candidate named Al Franken).

Better to concentrate on congress & wish for what we had during the Clinton years, where the legislature drug a reluctant prez towards the center. Heck, I'd rather run congress, anyway, that's where the real stuff gets done (welfare reform comes to mind). Barring unemployment topping 11% by the time the election comes around, Barack Obama will be re-elected. And it will be the final nail in the coffin for the MSM as we know it, but his re-election is going to happen. If unemployment is "only" 10%, he'll get credit for turning around the Bush budgets (that he voted for) and by then we'll be drawing down troops as it was always the plan. 2012 is over, already. You can win versus a slanted media, you cannot win against a monolithic cheerleading media that acts as an unregistered PAC. No one was going to beat Obama in '08, so it's not like McCain was a sacrificial lamb (Bush giving the GOP brand a bad name caveat included). He's their guy. We gotta deal & accept. It.Is.Over.

Hopefully, Queen Sarah will study up on the issues, stay in the public spotlight a-la Reagan and come in with a new brand in '16, versus a wrinkled, saggy & aged Hillary.

Posted by: RW at October 28, 2009 7:59 PM

I don't believe in god, but if I did I would pray every day for Palin to be the nominee. It would be the first 50-0 wipe-out in history.

Posted by: magrooder at October 28, 2009 10:38 PM

The roll back starts next Tuesday. The beat down a year from now is going to be unforgettable and by 2012 only the kool aid drinkers will be supporting Obumbler.

Posted by: dch at October 28, 2009 11:02 PM

Question for Crank: Sara Palin was driven from office by being deluged with frivolous lawsuits. So my question is; are there laws (or lack of) in Alaska that allowed this to happen or can elected officials be driven from office anywhere in the country with the frivolous lawsuit strategy? Dems may savor their Palin scalp, but if both sides start employing this tactic it is going to be very bad for the Republic.

Posted by: feeblemind at October 28, 2009 11:50 PM

Magrooder, no matter how much you dislike Palin, there is no chance she would suffer a 50-0 blanking against Obama, nor would she suffer the 49-1 embarassment that Mondale absorbed from Reagan. Sorry, wouldn't happen.

Crank, thanks for the link on Dean Barnett, can't believe he's been gone for a year. I miss him.

Posted by: Paul H. at October 29, 2009 1:25 PM

On the Newt miscalculation, he's done. Even if Owens wins, Newt hurts himself in the eyes of anyone voting in a GOP primary. Newt may feel vindicated if Owens wins, but he'll be wrong as the horse he backed came in third and he won't even be able to say he backed Scozzafava because he believed in her positions. Nope, he just believed in the (R) after her name. Conversely, even if Hoffman loses Palin will have backed a candidate who actually agreed with the party platform. I don't know if Palin is going to run. She is definitely keeping the door open, but she is young and I'm sure she knows how difficult it is taking on an incumbent president even one as unpopular as this one. Recession is winding down and if the economy is better then some potential candidates may wait for 2012. While Obama is pushing a lot of crap (Cap & Trade BS, health care "reform," massive inflation caused by government spending, etc) that will hurt the economy in the long run, most of the damage he is trying to do won't be felt for years. If the Dems lose big in 2010 and Obama is forced to move slightly towards the center he may be in okay shape in 2012.

Posted by: Largebill at October 29, 2009 3:03 PM

It is a very interesting question what Obama will do if the Republicans gain a lot of ground in 2010. Just because there's a Clinton playbook for that situation doesn't mean he has the desire or capability to follow it. First, if the GOP gains a lot of seats but not a majority (Republicans are exceedingly unlikely to take back the Senate), Obama will still have Democrats in Congress to deal with, and may feel he's still entitled to get what he wants, full stop. Second, Obama doesn't have a centrist bone in his body; all he knows how to do is demonize the other side and wage a permanent campaign. Third, and relatedly, he has no experience being anything but a left-winger; Clinton had spent a decade governing Arkansas after losing the 1980 race to a Reagan-coattails candidate. So, I would not necessarily expect a lot of (real, as opposed to rhetorical) triangulation from Obama.

Posted by: Crank at October 29, 2009 3:18 PM

feeblemind, it's my understanding that the Alaska system is somewhat unique. Which on balance is a good thing. But it's quite a contrast to how the GOP approaches the other side's rising stars - from what I can tell, the RNC didn't even have an opposition research file on Obama until the spring of 2008, let alone put effort into driving him from the field.

As for a Palin candidacy, really too soon to say. She has great strengths and obvious weaknesses as a candidate. I would think it unlikely that she'll get nominated without solving at least some of those weaknesses (and as Obama, Bush & Clinton all illustrate, a candidate with at least some obvious vulnerabilities can still win).

Posted by: Crank at October 29, 2009 3:27 PM

We've seen what the media can do when they collectively decide to toss their credibility overboard:
Cheer-leading during the run-up to the Iraq War.
Putting fools and propagandists like Newt Gingrich (Mr. guns don't kill people, video games and rap music kill people) on the air as a credible commentators.

As for Palin (and the defense of Limbaugh), I'll stick with something my Dad told me growing up: The greedy are easy marks for grifters.

Posted by: Berto at October 29, 2009 5:37 PM

The fantasy among the wing nuts that Palin " was driven from office by frivolous lawsuits" is a joke. Even if one were to assume -- against all evidence, but hey, when you get information from Faux News, who needs evidence -- that the suits were all frivolous, they had nothing to do with her leaving office except to provide an excuse.

She left for one reason -- to cash in on her celebrity. (A praticularly ironic reason given the way that word has been used to belittel the President.)

It's worked for her. She and her family are much better off financially. It would be nice, however, if once in her life, she actually told the truth. I guess, though, when you can't tell truth from lies, it is hard to do that.

Posted by: magrooder at October 29, 2009 5:52 PM

Now Sarah Palin is a serial liar--mmmkay.

BTW Magrooder do you see who you are paired up with---- berto

berto is, at best, the Fredo of this site-you are better than that-you occassionaly make a valid poltical point and you are pretty normal when talking about baseball.

Posted by: dch at October 29, 2009 11:01 PM

"The Levy piece was just horrible."

That was very, very sad. Even apart from the fact that he placed too much of his self esteem in his career, imagine someone with that kind of resume viewing his professional life as somehow unsalvageable. What percentage of lawyers have the appellate experience that he had? Even if he never practiced privately again, he could have taught at a college or a law school.

Posted by: MVH at October 30, 2009 9:59 AM

dch,
You would think I'd get more credit after I exposed Crank's 9/11 fetish last week.
But no, not from the "consistent" dch---who whined for 6 years about how it's weak if you negotiate with terrorists, only to turn around later and praise "the surge" in Iraq. You know "the surge", that's where we pay-off those who were called terrorists for 6 years.
Fredo? Who knew he was intellectually consistent?

Posted by: Berto at October 30, 2009 1:23 PM

dch,

I know; you have spongeworthy and a few others.

The Levy piece was very sad; it added considerable detail to what I had seen before. His poor son finding the suicide note is haunting.

His firm handled the situation very poorly and with little compassion. He couldn't keep his office while he looked for work?

I also wonder if those contacts he had at various groups who commented on how he had never asked for networking opportunities even though they relied on his work feel about not reaching out to him to give him the opportunities. Hopefully, they will have learned something.

Posted by: magrooder at October 30, 2009 2:38 PM
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