RNC Coverage: Hour 1

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Ben Smith, reporter for Politico, and Stephen Dinan, reporter and blogger for The Washington Times, discuss the vetting process of Sarah Palin, plus the big speeches from last night.

Christine Todd Whitman, former New Jersey governor, co-chair of the Republican Leadership Council, and president of the Whitman Strategy Group, talks about nuclear power, Sarah Palin--and why the northeast is trending more democratic.

WNYC Meet the Delegates Series:Justin Burr from Albermarie, NC.

The View From the Ethnic Press: Pilar Marrero, reporter and columnist for the La Opinión, and a reporter with Feet in Two Worlds, a project of the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School, talks about the convention.


Justin Burr, Stephen Dinan, Pilar Marrero, Ben Smith and Christine Todd Whitman

Comments [110]

Karen from Manhattan

The speech was mediocre and the convention was predictably vituperative and manipulative, but that doesn't matter. The issue is effect.

An NPR journalist reported on "All Things Considered" yesterday that a waitress whom he had interviewed told him that she "really liked" Sarah Palin and, based on Palin's nomination, was voting for McCain.

Of course the convention was repulsively dishonest and intellectually mediocre. Of course the Republicans are "desperate." The question is whether their strategy will pay off, and the NPR journalist's interview suggests that it will.

I have no faith in middle-class voters. They don't know what critical thinking is, let alone how to do it. Your guests are too smart for the voters.

Sep. 05 2008 10:32 AM
BG from Avon

The millions of dollars spent on conventions is obscene. Free television and radio time should be allocated to candidates, as well as other public forums for candidates to explain their sound bites or teleprompters. Changing this process is what is needed.
If Obama is sincere about "change", he should announce to the American public that his first order of business will be to replace the costly inauguration festivities with a simple swearing-in ceremony, thus saving the taxpayer millions of dollars that could be directed towards social programs. How about healthcare for a start?

Sep. 04 2008 10:30 PM
BG from Avon

When George Bush ran in 2000, he was deemed "likeable..the kind of a guy people would like to have a beer with." What ever happened to knowledgeable, rational,logical or capable? Americans are not known world-wide for their intellect, but what ever happened to common sense and the innate ability to sort out fact from fiction. How can anyone in their right mind embrace Sarah Palin as VP material? She is an ambitious politician, an absentee mother and "one of the good ol' backroom boys", dressed up to look like "one of us"...the puppet will be on stage for another 60 days...not enough time for her true self to be "outed".

Sep. 04 2008 10:09 PM
Robert from New York

The rumor regarding Trig did not arise on Daily Kos -- it's been reported in the Alaskan press for a long time (which doesn't make it true) -- if you read the Daily Kos regularly, you would have seen a refutation to the very point you made. And yes, there's only circumstantial evidence that the rumor is true -- but of course there was only circumstantial evidence that the John Edward's story was true ("tabloid material"), until, of course, it was.

And you say that they bring up Bristol's pregnancy because they were in a sense forced to -- to get away from the "Trig rumor". I listen to your show every day and respect you, but I'm extremely disappointed by the simplicity of this remark. First off, the rumors have been flying for a long time regarding Trig; second, do you think that the campaign and it's Rovian strategists do anything because they're "forced to"? Do you not think that all of this -- the timing, the announcement, etc -- was coldly calculated for political gain? Please.

Sep. 04 2008 10:37 AM
Margaret from Jersey City

I thought the cynical jabs at Obama last night were very revealing. The Republican party seems to believe that the only way to "fight for your country" is to go to war. I think Obama's community service is a form of "fighting for your country". Working class inner city neighborhoods need strong leaders to fight for them. Also on the issue of experience Obama was voted for - he won this nomination by the electoral vote. There is a clear distinction between being chosen by a politian for political purposes like Palin and being choosen by the people of the country.

Sep. 04 2008 10:32 AM
Dorothy from Chelsea

I'm a Democrat. I'm not an Obama supporter but I wouldn't vote for McCain/Palin under any cirucumstances. Maybe a third party (but not Barr or Nader.)

Community Organizer means "didn't do much of anything." Obama has always been vulnerable on the experience "thing." And now that the Dems are attacking Palin on her experience they expose Obama's resume to reconsideration.

I noted that people are saying she "read the speech from a teleprompter." I'd call that sexist except for the similar remark about Romney -- a case of CYA?

She hit all the right buttons for a Rep candidate -- I was reminded that the Reps are skillful campaigners. What a shame they're so incompetent at running a government.

This election should have been a cakewalk for the Dems, but it's entirely possible that Obama's going to lose.

Sep. 04 2008 10:21 AM
Mike Corvi from Bronx, NY

Pilar Marrero is such a horrible interviewee. This ethnocentrism is very unbecoming.

Sep. 04 2008 10:16 AM
karen schuitema from new jersey

What about the LIES said at the RNC convention by Palin and others about Obama? That he's going to raise taxes? (Implication- raise EVERONE's taxes- not true) That he has had no significant legislation (I know he had important congressional ethics legislation as well as- I believe-work to secure loose nuclear weaponry). That he opposed funding for the troops- This is true only in opposition of the surge, but not in other fundamental ways which support veterans in particular.

Palin and others tout her executive experience over Obama's community organizing (even though his work actually helped people get jobs and health care).
The RNC talks about Executive Experience as being important, but GEORGE W. BUSH had plenty of it and look where it got us! Please. What matters is a totality of (especially world) experience, heart, and intelligence. It's strange, too, how the Republicans seemed to have changed the frame now to be Palin V. Obama, rather than Obama v. McCain.

This election is about choices. Who best can change the direction of this country. For me, the choice of McCain augers more war and economic disaster. Obama represents work towards peace (at home and abroad) and putting the priorities of the working people first, before the interests of the rich and well-connected.

Sep. 04 2008 10:00 AM
Bistko from NYC

Sarah Palin has thrown her daughter under the bus. It's fine to say yes she should have the baby, but why make her and the father of the unborn baby get married. Wouldn't it be more responsible to encourage them both to finish high school and with the help of both families take care of the baby. Even encourage them to go to college and get more educated to be able to give their child a future. Its totally irresponsible to have them marry when neither planned to marry until she got the nod from John McCain. Palin's daughter and son both looked a bit shell shocked at the convention.

Sep. 04 2008 12:02 AM
Steve Mark from NYC

It's too bad Palin isn't a Democrat. Last night was her coming out party just as Obama's speech 4 years ago. I'm a Democrat but, come on, fellowD ems, admit it, a Republican superstar was born last night.

Sep. 03 2008 11:54 PM
Karen from Pompton Plains, NJ

I just watched the speech be Sarah Palin where she openly mocked Obama. She spoke alot about what "they" are going to do wrong. I didn't hear anything about health care, education or renewable energy, all issues important to us "hockey" or "soccer" moms. Also she says Obama will raise taxes while he says he will lower them except to the wealthy.
Also , did you notice her pregnant daughter's boyfriend was there, where did he come from al of a sudden?
Also, do you notice how little she holds her baby? Tonight was the first time I ever saw her hold him and that was very brief, he gets passed aound alot, even to Cindy McCain but she has almost nothing to do with him!
Not the kind of woman I want to stand next to at the PTA or a hockey game much less have in Washington!

Sep. 03 2008 11:39 PM
nicole from Washington Heights

I would really like to hear a discussion of what the term, "maverick" means at this point. Does it mean anything now that it has been repeated so many times?

We already know that terminology is important in defining political issues. (Climate change v. Global warming; Intelligent design v. Creationism) Let's actually remind ourselves of what these words mean and what they hide.

A suggestion: ask each guest to define what they mean by the "maverick" tag when they use it.

Sep. 03 2008 11:38 PM
Joe from New Haven

I listen to "liberal media" (WNYC, listen to network news and read the NY Times) and frankly I haven't heard any "condemnation by the liberal media" of Sara Palin or the activities of her family. Blogs don't count. There are many of those hyperventilating shout sheets on both the left and right. Editorial pages don't count either. They are opinion. This condemnation thing is being made up by the right to convince their supporters who don't read the NY Times or Washington Post anyway that the boogey man liberal media is beating up poor Sara. "The choice of Sara Palin" (not Sara herself) has been critisized and in my opinion is fair game.
Why would anyone put their 17 year old pregnant out-of-wedlock daughter and the father of the child through this? Couldn't she have just said, "no thanks, things are a bit hectic right now, ask me agin in 4 years".

Sep. 03 2008 06:12 PM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

the graduation rates of alaska's high schools are appalling (the bottom 10% of the nation), so perhaps Palin's daughter is making the only choice she can at 17. jethro will get an oil field job via his father-in-law, and they'll label this a success story for the pro-life movement. oy.

Sep. 03 2008 12:10 PM
MG from Park Slope

Any Republican who says that the process of Gov. Palin's vetting shouldn't be open to criticism is a complete and total hypocrite. There isn't a person on Earth who can convince me that Republicans wouldn't be doing the exact same thing if the nominee were a Democrat. Seriously, what would Republicans do if the tables were turned?

I think we should be careful not to let her become too much of a distraction (there are plenty of issues where Republicans have screwed up royally - we can't brush those aside), but the issues surrounding Palin's experience, conduct and anger issues should be considered.

Sep. 03 2008 11:57 AM
Justin from New York

BRIAN - does anyone see a legal problem with Bush giving a partisan political speech - "The Angry Left" - broadcast from The White House, The People's House?

Sep. 03 2008 11:46 AM
licnyc from long island city

Barak obama, a self made man who became a professor of constitutional law, then a senator, then the 1st to be a major political party's nominee for president.

Compared to former small town beauty queen becomes the mayor of a tiny town, marries a snowmobile racer, and becomes the governor of a state with less people than Fort Worth, TX.

Yeah... gotta love the bizzaro conservative logic.

How can this woman run the country when she can't run a carwash.

Sep. 03 2008 11:41 AM
Tom from Upper West Side

Why are Republicans seemingly incapable of admitting that one of them raised taxes...or might see the need to do so?

Also: Keep vetting Gov. Palin....The GOP's anger over the press scrutiny just shows that it is needed!

Sep. 03 2008 11:40 AM
Karen from Brooklyn, NY

We can blame McCain for lack of vetting, but what about Palin's judgment in withholding this information from the campaign until after she accepted the VP offer?

Sep. 03 2008 11:39 AM
Justin from New York

Brian - does anyone see a legal problem with Bush giving a partisan political speech - "The Angry Left" - broadcast from the White House, the People's House?

Sep. 03 2008 11:38 AM
licnyc from long island city

This woman is a republican shill, typical conservative finger pointing. Ask them whether any criticism of their candidate has validity, the response is "Well, Obama did this..." I call it kindergarten ethics.

Sep. 03 2008 11:31 AM
Randy Paul from Jackson Heights, NY

Isn't there anyone else they could have gotten other than such a blatant shill for the GOP than Amity Shlaes?

Sep. 03 2008 11:30 AM
Mike Leung from Brooklyn

Sorry, wrong thread.

Sep. 03 2008 11:26 AM
hjs from 11211

does palin send her kids to public school?
if yes, her 5th child will cost taxpayers a lot more than her other kids

Sep. 03 2008 11:24 AM
Mike Leung from Brooklyn

Don't the rich benefit disproportionately from the government? Aren't 75% of the courts essentially for them?

Sep. 03 2008 11:22 AM
JT from Long Island

Remember folks, the people calling McCain/Palin reformers are the people trying to get them in office. Like when Bush referred to himself as a "reformer with results". It's meaningless but there are people out there that will believe this after hearing it over again.

It's sad that this is the best the republicans can do since the reasonable people in the party (i.e Colin Powell, Christine Whitman)
were destroyed by working in the Bush administration.

Sep. 03 2008 11:17 AM
christa from New York, NY

I am so tired of all of this talk about Palin's baby with Down Syndrome as an example of her good character or her strong commitment to her pro-life beliefs. Plenty of families have children with downs syndrome. This is nothing out of the ordinary or exceptional. And I am offended by the implication this creates that a pro-choice woman would choose to abort a child with downs syndrome.

Sep. 03 2008 11:17 AM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

Why was it okay for Dan Quayle to pick on a fictional character (Murphy Brown!) during his run for VP for having a baby out of wedlock, and voters can't question the judgment of a candidate who seems to have an overflowing plate when it comes to her own domestic issues?

Sep. 03 2008 11:12 AM
Chicago Listener

[[Chuck from Brooklyn September 03, 2008 - 10:58AM These empty shirts & suits at the RNC just regurgitate the GOP talking points. Do they do any research on there own? Talk about sheep. "She's just great, What a maverick, America First, blah, blah, blah..."]]

yeah, GOP talking points at the GOP convention. they're going to toe the party line. no big surprise there. it would have been more fun if mccain had nominated lieberman. wow! if the hardliners had followed through with their threat to protest. it would have been more interesting than the warmed over comments we're getting.

i'm creeped out by palin because i think we have to always be on guard against a state religion. keep your god out of my face.

Sep. 03 2008 11:09 AM
KC from NYC

Oh, sweet! The smiling face of massive historical revisionism. And...go!

Sep. 03 2008 11:07 AM
AWM from UWS

His status was "party traitor" until he emerged as the nominee much to the dismay of the GOP base. Now it's "war hero"

Sep. 03 2008 11:07 AM

During Brian's conversation with Justin Burr, Mr. Burr states that there is an excitement surrounding Mrs. Palin's nomination. I can agree with this. However, he goes on to say that people are becoming more engaged in the political process because of this.'s been less than a week since the nomination. It sounds like all this "excitement" is rhetoric being used to counter Obama's real success in getting people excited about the political process, which has been going on for well over a year.

Sep. 03 2008 11:06 AM
hjs from 11211

what kind of sex ed does palin's daughter's school teach?

Sep. 03 2008 11:04 AM


Brian I think a show on the issue of teen pregnancy is in order. I also think that we should look at teen pregnancies via state by state and what programs work and what don't.

Sep. 03 2008 11:01 AM
Zak from Brooklyn, NY

#72: I appreciate your point. But it's more than that. McCain has voted with Bush over 90% of the time. So, a 5% to 10% divergence apparently equals Maverick status. Were that percentage any higher, there is no doubt in my mind that McCain's status would instead be listed as "party traitor."

Sep. 03 2008 10:59 AM
Chuck from Brooklyn

These empty shirts & suits at the RNC just regurgitate the GOP talking points.

Do they do any research on there own?

Talk about sheep.

"She's just great, What a maverick, America First, blah, blah, blah..."

Sep. 03 2008 10:58 AM

Anything Christine Todd Whitman says with regard to nuclear energy should be understood as tempered by her relationship with the nuclear industry (specifically with the Nuclear Industry Institute). It is a shame that Brian did not make this clear during the interview.

Sep. 03 2008 10:58 AM
Chicago Listener

[[Sean from NYC September 03, 2008 - 10:50AM I am a little confused. How can you be Pro-life and be in the NRA. Don't they use their guns to kill? Even if it's killing animals it is still killing.]]

a better question is how can someone be "pro-life" and "pro-death penalty"?

the standard answer is that the babies are innocent and the criminals are not. this avoids the niggling problem of wrongful convictions.

i support the NRA in principle, not because i want to shoot a deer or a moose, but because i support the notion of being able to defend myself and my home.

Sep. 03 2008 10:58 AM
AWM from UWS

Why does McCain get praise for disagreeing, occasionally and in the past, with the disastrous policies of the W administration?

You’re a “reformer” or “maverick” if you reject policies that are obviously ill conceived, poorly executed and aggressively ideological?

Sep. 03 2008 10:55 AM
Zak from Brooklyn, NY

I'm sorry, but this 23 year old delegate from North Carolina is full of hogwash. He remembers what he's been told of Reagan, but he was a scant three years old when Reagan left office. I"m a few years older than he and my memories of Reagan are more my father swearing at the television AT Reagan than anything the man actually said or did. Perhaps he means he yearns for glorious, halcyon days of Bush 1...

Sep. 03 2008 10:54 AM

Even on the local level republicans don't have any issues. The republican party is going the way of the whig party.

Sep. 03 2008 10:54 AM
hjs from 11211

'pro-life' refers to those in the womb after birth the gop doesn't care about u unless u have a trust fund.

Sep. 03 2008 10:53 AM
Lisa from ny


[[If you would like to email directly, I would love to talk to you about our goals in moderating this message board. You haven't listed a real email address when posting, so my attempts to reach out to you have bounced back. If you list a real email address next time you post, I will write you directly. Thanks, best,
BL Producer]]

Sep. 03 2008 10:51 AM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

Re: Bringing the Yucca Mt. nuclear spent fuel storage site on line--Did I just hear Christie Whitman say that since there's been so much money put into Yucca Mt, it should to ahead?

There are fault lines under Yucca Mt--if the spent fuel should leak, a possibility given the time it is highly dangerous, she will risk the livability of a huge area? She will say, hey, we put a lot of money into that plan and that site, so what if the underground water become unusable?

The time lines on nuke waste are so long as to almost beyond the capacity of mere mankind to handle rationally.

And, having put money (or blood) into a "project" meaning we must keep doing the same thing what keeps us in failing or seriously unwise wars and occupations?

Would she be willing to put the nuke waste somewhere in NJ? Dig deep into the schist under NYC?

Sep. 03 2008 10:51 AM
Sean from NYC

I am a little confused. How can you be Pro-life and be in the NRA. Don't they use their guns to kill? Even if it's killing animals it is still killing.

Sep. 03 2008 10:50 AM
KC from NYC

"Abu Ghraib" was a "problem".

Strong stuff.

Sep. 03 2008 10:50 AM
BL Producer from St. Paul, MN

BL Moderator Writes: Several comments on this board have been removed or edited for violating the WNYC posting policy. In addition, one commenter - Hank, Lisa, etc - is posting under various names and also under the name "BL Producer."

Please stop this. We are all in this together, trying to foster productive discussion about important issues. Right?

Thank you.
-BL Show-

Sep. 03 2008 10:48 AM
Lisa from ny

NorthEast: Because they're the smartest, and realized Republicans are lying ripoff artists who assign their dirty work to loudmouth hot air hate mongers on AM Radio and are silently complicit. Like Whitman.

Sep. 03 2008 10:48 AM
hjs from 11211

Nuclear power will never be cost effective. only with government subsidies will corporations make profit. plus there are all the carbon costs

Sep. 03 2008 10:46 AM
Lisa from ny

Born to live on .... Yucca Mountain

Whitman how about NJ????

Why are you so Nationally-Oriented?

Sep. 03 2008 10:45 AM
KC from NYC

or that "send the wtc workers back to the salvage, the air is totally safe"? That was really, really bad. And she really, really got a pass on that.

Sep. 03 2008 10:44 AM
Lisa from ny

What does whitman think about the babe factor?

Sep. 03 2008 10:44 AM
Lisa from ny

Aren't nukes dangerous?

Sep. 03 2008 10:43 AM
Hank from ny


Sep. 03 2008 10:43 AM
Hank from ny

How about pollution in NJ?

Sep. 03 2008 10:43 AM
Hank from ny

Gov Whitman how about those traffic signs?

Sep. 03 2008 10:42 AM
KC from NYC

Nuclear power + crumbling infrastructure = a good idea?

Sep. 03 2008 10:40 AM
hjs from 11211

it's a movie. check it out on wikipedia

Sep. 03 2008 10:38 AM
Chicago Listener

you should ask people to compare and contrast their feelings about lieberman now versus eight years ago. is he just a single issue (israel) politician?

and then compare mccain's positions now and then.

Sep. 03 2008 10:38 AM
Loacko from queens

@RC right, why is the real issue of evaluating character being sidetracked by a discussion of these other issues?

Sep. 03 2008 10:36 AM
Howard from Kew Gardens

Can you ask Gov Whitman what she thinks of the platform considering her terrific book? It is the most conservative in years, especially when it comes to the reproductive rights.

Sep. 03 2008 10:36 AM
Chicago Listener

[[Yes I Am from Manhattan September 03, 2008 - 10:24AM Oh great...another brilliant, educated New York caller. "Another like Republican...Sarah Palin framing the...she came in and like said...we're letting like THEM frame like it's like..." There should be some sort of basic intelligence test given to callers for this show, maybe an English language proficiency test? Oh wait nevermind that's discrimination. Every town idiot now gets to use this soapbox.]]

yes, indeed. oh, wait....

Sep. 03 2008 10:36 AM
KC from NYC

Yeah, I don't really understand how Palin is a plus either. Energizing the base, yes. Of course she does. But does that matter once the convention is over? I mean, it does make them cheer a little louder for the TV audience, but I think she looks like a mess to the less messianic.

Sep. 03 2008 10:35 AM
Hoolosd from ny

Can someone tell me what all the commentators are referring to when they refer to Cindy McCain as a "Stepford Wife?" I'm not getting the reference.

Sep. 03 2008 10:35 AM

I wonder if this had happened to a hypothetical teenage Obama daughter? Would the conservatives say that this is a private matter or would they dust off the 5 black conservatives in their arsenal to condem "liberal family values" or sex ed, condom distribution?

Sep. 03 2008 10:33 AM
Jon Young from Staten Island

Gov. Palin and her family are approaching the notoriety of Britney Spears and her family.

Sep. 03 2008 10:32 AM
Nancy from nyc

Harold: Right. I love how Laura comes out from behind the kindergarten big books when it's time to "tastefully attack."

Sep. 03 2008 10:32 AM

Whats more elite then a bunch of white people getting together to pat each other on the back and call everyone else whiners. Plus they are hypocrites.

Sep. 03 2008 10:32 AM
Eppie from LIC Queens NYC

Re: VP pick Sarah Palin - where has anyone written or said anything about her character or positions vis a vis the planks of 2008 GOP Platform? For example, on page 45 of the platform, here is what the GOP says about abstinence: <<"We renew our call for replacing “family planning” programs for teens with increased funding for abstinence education, which teaches abstinence until marriage as the responsible and expected standard of behavior. Abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is 100 percent effective against out-of- wedlock pregnancies... We oppose school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related services for abortion and contraception... >>

Sep. 03 2008 10:31 AM


palin's entrance is so delicious simply b/c for repubs to defend her requires them to reverse their self-righteous prostheletizing and utter sentence after sentence of hypocritical logic. it reminds them w each utterance how different their own politics are from building infrastructure, helping the poor, defending innocent americans from terrorists (including war profiteers).

this is a moment to kick back and watch the "moral majority" turn to smoke.

Sep. 03 2008 10:31 AM
Yes I Am from Manhattan

#38 Sheila:

"By the way, who will take care of little Trig Treik Trek Trans and Trome?"

I don't know Sheela, Shieluh, Cheluh, Sheeluah, Chiela, Cheiluh.

Maybe when you finish your lunch delivery route today you can.

Sep. 03 2008 10:30 AM
R Meyer from Manhattan

There they go again! (i.e. the republicans). If it were either the Obamas or the Bidens that had a teenage pregnancy, they would be tarred & feathered!

Sep. 03 2008 10:30 AM
Marny from nyc

Eastern Elitism? You mean people in DENVER don't consider the Gov of Alaska as a Northern Exposure hick???????? Wake up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

Sep. 03 2008 10:29 AM
Harold Wilson from New Jersey, US

Why are we treating Laura Bush as if she is a non-partisan person? She is an active Republican, and a thoroughly partisan one at that. Just because she is not part of the administration (or because she is a librarian) does not make her statements more valid.

She is basically repeating the GOP talking points about the sexism being shown to Palin, her executive experience, the elitism, etc.

Sep. 03 2008 10:28 AM
chris o from new york city

Speaking of Israel: where was Palin yesterday on the first business day after her shocking nomination? She was at AIPAC. First things first: must pass the blindly pro-Israeli test. It is almost as if the Israeli lobby has veto power over our Presidents.

Sep. 03 2008 10:27 AM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan

And Palin said this in June speaking at her old church:

"Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan."

Messianic war. Just dandy.

Sep. 03 2008 10:26 AM
KC from NYC

Wow. You're a hypocrite if you point out that Palin's life is in direct contrast to the views the espouses, and the POLICIES she champions?

Did that caller have any idea what the word "hypocrite" means?

Sep. 03 2008 10:26 AM
Bob from nyc

This guy on the air, doesn't realize that when you pick a VP candidate they're under the microscope. This is not passing judgment on your neighbor, this is evaluating the next Veep. It's amazing to me how sensitive these rip them a new orifice Rethuglicans get when someone mocks their guy's JUDGMENT.

Sep. 03 2008 10:26 AM
Howard from Kew Gardens

I watched the speeches last night--great stories about John McCain. How horrible it was for anyone to be a POW--I went to college with POWs and they told stories that were horrible.

However, McCain's stories have changed over the years. The front line of the Packers became the Steel Curtain of the Steelers, then back to the Packers when someone realized that he has not a POW when the steel curtain was around. The cross story is remarkably like other stories.

You know who else had great stories? Ronald Reagan! How many of his stories were actually real? Certainly not all! My question is how many stories about McCain POW are real and how much are not but are great for the campaign?

Sep. 03 2008 10:26 AM
Sainted_Mother from New York, NY

I just got a post from a long-time friend, now out of NYC area, listens from the web occasionally ... he/his wife said this, related to republican hypocrasy ...

"[My wife] asks why, whenever she hears the name Sarah Palin, she thinks of Monty Python.

I wonder why the kid who got the daughter pregnant is not facing charges of statutory rape. Seems to me there was a black kid in the south who recently spent several months facing such charges. Does the law apply only to southern black non-Republicans?

The gods must be laughing. Or crying. Or not paying attention at all."

So ... where DO WE STAND on this issue????
"the white man's party" indeed, as an earlier poster said ...

Sep. 03 2008 10:23 AM
AWM from UWS

This is outrageous…

The same people who sat quietly and cried during Thompson’s speech revere and idolize the man who smeared him in South Carolina 8 years ago. There was no GOP outcry then. But now that it’s convenient he’s a hero who suffered for his country.

Sickening hypocrisy…

By the way, Fred, thanks for conveying the brutality and ineffectiveness of torture to the people who support it.

Sep. 03 2008 10:23 AM
Jujmu from hohokus

Whitman: Do you think this pole dancing second runner up beauty contest winner is as qualified as you as a lady to be one heartbeat away from commanding the US Armed Services?

Sep. 03 2008 10:23 AM
Chris from Manhattan

Why is Lieberman all for Republicons? One word -- Israel. Lieberman is a single issue voter. His pro-Israel, anti-Arab genocidal mentality trumps all other considerations.

As for Palin, maybe Mr. Lehrer will return to some of the windbags from last week (like the Orrin Hatch) and see if there are tears in their eyes for another reason now.

Sep. 03 2008 10:22 AM
chris o from new york city

Mark Shields made the excellent point that last night was bizarre in that Republicans were running against Washington, which under Bush they basically controlled. So it was very discordant in talking about cleaning up Washington and bipartisanship etc. but they could not mention Bush as the person they were clearly contrasting McCain with. (Shields said it better.)

Sep. 03 2008 10:22 AM
Richard Lee from Park Slope

Re Fred Thompson's speech...

I have to say that what I heard was a practiced and fluent actor doing a heckuva job with his delivery.

Without in any way diminishing the power of McCain's story, I doubt that it would have had quite as much impact if someone else (like maybe the president pro tem) had told it.

Sep. 03 2008 10:21 AM

whats with the republicans playing the sexism card but not wanting to pay woman equally.

Sep. 03 2008 10:19 AM
John Celardo from Fanwood, NJ

Huffington has a short piece by Madeleine Kunin, former Vermont governor, about her attempt to be “commander-in-chief” of the National Guard. John Warner’s Defense Act of 2007 stated that governors were no longer the sole commander-in-chief of the National Guard.

Sep. 03 2008 10:19 AM
David from Queens

The enthusiasm gap between GOP with McCain is palpable (You can almost hear the tumbleweeds blowing down the street). Despite the on-message police on the floor, this is clearly a dispirited party trying to rerun a candidate who peaked in 2000.

Sep. 03 2008 10:18 AM
Demetri from brooklyn

I feel like McCain was a heroic figure but he lost credibility in my eyes when he capitulated on the recent torture situation. Please ask McCain supporters if they feel McCain's capitulation to the Bush administration affects their feelings about him.

Sep. 03 2008 10:16 AM
chris o from new york city

Fred is always clearing his throat.

Sep. 03 2008 10:16 AM
Dallas from NYC

Brian, didn't the GOP/Conservatives, etc... raise heck when Gen. Clark made the exact same point that Fred Thompson did that being a POW doesn't make you qualified to be president?

Sep. 03 2008 10:15 AM
JT from Long Island

Didn't McCain reverse his position on torture when he started his run? How can anyone support a man that so blatantly changed his position for votes?

Sep. 03 2008 10:15 AM
chris o from new york city

As a commenter here pointed out, if being POW makes you qualified to be leader, we have been and continue to train scores of potential world leaders down on the island of Cuba. I think we treat our PoWs worse (we don't even call them PoWs, they are beneath that). Torture 101 vs. Torture Grad School Version.

Sep. 03 2008 10:15 AM
Steve from NYC

The Republicans are old and tired and in decline. They know it as well as everyone else. They are grasping at whatever they can.
This election is over. It ended after Obama's speech last Thursday and the Palin pick on Friday.

Sep. 03 2008 10:14 AM
Chicago Listener

please stop complaining about the "two square feet" that you have to work from. there is nothing any of your listeners can do about that.

Sep. 03 2008 10:14 AM
John Celardo from Fanwood, NJ

So what was all that Thompson throat-clearing all about?

Sep. 03 2008 10:14 AM

So instead of fixing america, we are going to wage the culture wars all over again. How sad a party that has nothing to say.

Sep. 03 2008 10:13 AM
chris o from new york city

I did not know until last night that McCain was shot down by a fellow flyer. Damn, the friendly fire mistakes are just legion...

Sep. 03 2008 10:11 AM
John Celardo from Fanwood, NJ

Bush’s comment on the “angry left” was interesting. Is any group is angrier, or more vindictive than the right?

Sep. 03 2008 10:11 AM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan

In case you hadn't noticed - Palin cut $1.1 million for teen moms. Family values indeed!

Sep. 03 2008 10:10 AM
Chuck from Brooklyn

Too volatile to lead.

Sep. 03 2008 10:09 AM
chris o from new york city

Did Fred Thompson mention Obama by name? I don't think so. He could at least have said, "Barack Hussein Obama." But the Presidential wannabe who gained about as much traction as me in his bid may have a little resentment towards the phenomenally successful junior Senator from Illinois.

Sep. 03 2008 10:08 AM

(re Whitman/not necessarily his write in choice)

Sep. 03 2008 10:07 AM

Maybe I'm the only one listening who absolutely cannot wait to vote for the McCain/Palin ticket and am delighted to imagine the potential of this combination. The more I learn about the true character of Ms. Palin and the possibilities of Sen. McCain given his personal narrative of captivity and temperament.

This is for picking the season finale of the Jerry Springer Show, right?

PS agree w michaelw/5.

Sep. 03 2008 10:06 AM
chris o from new york city

McCain is lying when he said he conducted a thorough review. Apparently they did not talk to anybody in Alaska about her. I guess they googled her...

Sep. 03 2008 10:03 AM
michaelw from INWOOD

Christine Todd Whitman should be in jail.

She lied to New Yorkers willingly about the air in the city.

The Republicans are a disaster. :)


Sep. 03 2008 09:34 AM
BL Producer from St. Paul, MN

[[BL Moderator Writes: A gentle preemptive reminder to heed the WNYC posting policy, which asks that you remain civil, on topic, and relevant to the discussion taking place on the air. Thanks!
-BL Show-]]

Sep. 03 2008 09:21 AM
chris o from new york city

Watching the convention, I realized we have been hard on McCain and his pick of Sarah Palin. It turns out she wasn't first on his list. In fact, she was #47. The first 46 were disqualified for various and sundry reasons ranging from being reality-based to being Newt Gingrich like.

Sep. 03 2008 09:18 AM
seth from Long Island


Gov Whitman, when you were New Jersey's governor, did you make any decisions as commander in chief of the NJ National Guard which prepared you to become commander in chief of the armed forces of the United States?

Sep. 03 2008 09:09 AM
chris o from new york city

I watched the White People's party last night or at least the last hour. I thought the changing backdrop was bizarre and jarring, esp. with the massive flag against the blue sky. It was just weird.

I don't think Fred Thompson mentioned Obama by name. Some unhealthy contempt and disrespect there. There was a certain lacklusterness to Fred but that is his middle name.

Props to Lieberman, it was quite surreal to see a man hammer home the message of bipartisanship at an ultra-partisan event. I heard some crickets. The dude even got the crowd to politely applaud Bill Clinton and his accomplishments (with the Republican Congress of course)! That is awesome. One commentator thought this was largely the speech he drafted as the VP nominee and noted the irony that he was preaching reaching across the aisle and the reason he could not get McCain's VP nod is they, those in the audience would never reach across the aisle.

Sep. 03 2008 08:56 AM

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