Will Thomas

 Have a tip? Send it Here!
Will Thomas

Bringing Out The Base

AP sees the GOP’s problem:

Since the last federal election in 2006, volunteers like Graham combined with the enthusiasm generated by the Obama-Clinton struggle to add more than 2 million Democrats to voter rolls in the 28 states that register voters according to party affiliation. The Republicans have lost nearly 344,000 thousand voters in the same states.


There are plenty of issues in the career of Sarah Palin that deserve a hefty amount of scrutiny, so I’m only going to give this one a few seconds.

The McCain camp is reveling in her sale of the governor’s jet on eBay. McCain himself said yesterday, “You know what I enjoyed the most? She took the luxury jet that was acquired by her predecessor, and sold it on eBay — and made a profit!”

Someone should really tell McCain to be more careful with his words:

In fact, the jet did not sell on eBay. It was sold to a businessman from Valdez named Larry Reynolds, who paid $2.1 million for the plane — shy of the $2.7 million purchase price — according to news reports at the time. Reynolds contributed to Palin’s campaign in 2006.

Palin, so far as I can tell, has precisely said she auctioned the plane on eBay, without confirming whether or not it actually sold. Just a friendly reminder that details can be pesky things.

The Economy Is Strong, Ed. #193


Senior officials from the Bush administration and the Federal Reserve on Friday called in top executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giants, and told them that the government was preparing to place the two companies under federal control, officials and company executives briefed on the discussions said.

National Security Incredibility

The AP looked into McCain’s latest line about Palin’s experience as the commander-in-chief of the Alaska National Guard:

Maj. Gen. Craig Campbell, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard, considers Palin “extremely responsive and smart” and says she is in charge when it comes to in-state services, such as emergencies and natural disasters where the National Guard is the first responder.

But, in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, he said he and Palin play no role in national defense activities, even when they involve the Alaska National Guard. The entire operation is under federal control, and the governor is not briefed on situations.

We’re-Totally-Not-Politicizing-Disaster Watch

Rick Davis: Obama putting politics above Gustav. (McCain would never do that.)

For It Before She Was Against It

Several readers have pointed out that Palin’s claim this week that “I told Congress, thanks but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere” doesn’t line up with previous pro-Ketchikan Islands statements. But today, the Anchorage Daily News takes it one step further:

The Alaska governor campaigned in 2006 on a build-the-bridge platform, telling Ketchikan residents she felt their pain when politicians called them “nowhere.” They’re still feeling pain today in Ketchikan, over Palin’s subsequent decision to use the bridge funds for other projects — and over the timing of her announcement, which they say came in a pre-dawn press release that seemed aimed at national news deadlines.

“I think that’s when the campaign for national office began,” said Ketchikan Mayor Bob Weinstein on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Weinstein noted, the state is continuing to build a road on Gravina Island to an empty beach where the bridge would have gone — because federal money for the access road, unlike the bridge money, would have otherwise been returned to the federal government.

So… a beach road to nowhere?


With news that Gustav is headed towards Louisiana and that New Orleans is under mandatory evacuation, it is reassuring on some fronts to see the Republican response. So far Bush and Cheney have cancelled their appearances in St. Paul and the RNC is trying to determine how and to what extent they should cut back on festivities (McCain suggested yesterday that the convention might even be moved, but that strikes me as a non-starter).

Of course, it’s hard not to see this as political posturing. But this is one of those times when political posturing aligns with the right thing to do; I can’t imagine watching an RNC where nothing has changed despite the fact that Americans are suffering from a regional disaster. And yes, one can say that this never would have happened if not for Katrina. Even so, I’m not sure what alternatives are out there under these circumstances.

That being said, I find it disturbing that McCain and Palin have decided to go down to Mississippi this week. A trip like this is worse than opportunism. Let us not forget that McCain doesn’t travel alone; he brings along staff and Secret Service agents, all of whom require the time and attention of local officials. The situation is reminiscent of Rumsfeld’s infamous 9/11 response to rush outside the Pentagon and give orders: the images on TV inspire confidence, at least until one remembers that our leaders are neglecting the responsibilities that are truly meant to keep us safe.

Neither McCain nor Palin offer any unique advantage to New Orleans with their presence — they are not Southern politicians, they don’t have any particularly useful contacts in the area and they aren’t emergency responders. (Meanwhile, Obama will not travel to the region but has said he will use his fundraiser lists to coordinate volunteers once damage is assessed.) However, McCain could be particularly helpful from his Senate position, if he so chose.

And if visiting a possible emergency site to “check on preparations” (as the campaign refers to it) doesn’t bother you particularly, consider this line from Politico yesterday:

McCain was scheduled to deliver his acceptance speech Thursday but now may do so from the devastation zone if the storm hits the U.S. coast with the ferocity feared by forecasters.

It can be hard sometimes not to drift towards the spotlight. But that is precisely why we seek leaders with sound judgement, however they come across it.

McCain Hits Fox News Sunday

Palin a “partner and a soulmate.”

MoDo’s Not A Fan

Shorter Maureen Dowd: VP Palin = “generically sassy chick flick.

(And yes, it gets worse. For everyone.)

Ready On Day One?

A little Freudian slip on the RNC website. Here are the top two feature stories:

Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: