It Came from Wasilla

Monday, July 06, 2009

Vanity Fair national editor Todd Purdum on how the John McCain–Sarah Palin campaign, a match that seemed so right, ended up going so wrong. His article "It Came from Wasilla" is in the August issue of Vanity Fair.


Todd Purdum

Comments [34]

ML from Verona, NJ

I always think of the "mean girls" in high school when I see soon to be ex-Gov Palin. She has a mean spiritedness about her that conjures images of the cafeteria so long ago...

Jul. 07 2009 09:16 PM

Oh, yes I remembered last year when Todd Purdum wrote a trashy hit piece on Bill Clinton and Bill hit back hard calling him a dishonest reporter, a slimy guy and a scumbag! LOL... This description was right then and is right now. Don't think much of what this "reporter" wrote about Sarah Palin, he found a niche at Vanity Fair writing trash for cash and that's his trade.

Jul. 07 2009 09:15 PM
Bubba Bob from Belly of the Beast, FL

@Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

Langley, Virginia, huh? CIA, right? You sound like one of those sub-geniuses who told the Bushlette that Sadam Hussein had WMD. Good job, Brainiac! Time to stop sniffing glue and get a grip on something that seems to be eluding you: Reality!

Look, no one cares what the tinfoil hat brigade has to say about where Obama was born.

What does concern normal people (not just flaming liberals) is that there are so many Americans who cannot see Palin for the ignorant, incompetent hack that she really is... how her 'supporters' twist and distort their own perceptions to avoid facing what is so blindingly obvious. We're not afraid of her intellect; the very idea is laughable. We are disturbed, rather, by how soul-crushingly, bone-chillingly stupid her supporters are.

Listen to the words that come out of her mouth. Are they the products of a healthy and powerful mind? Her supporters claim that her conspicuous, crude shallowness is just an act contrived to catch her liberal 'enemies' off guard. This is what the trailer-dwelling neocons said about Bush too. Apparently, Bush maintained the pretense of being retarded throughout his entire presidency, and is, in fact, not even now revealing his 'true brilliance'. What's he waiting for?

Why not go with the simple and obvious answer: Bush is just as dull and simple-minded as he looks, sounds, and acts. Bush was never a smart guy pretending to be a dumb guy. He was always a dumb guy pretending to be a smart guy pretending to be a dumb guy. Likewise, Palin isn't a shrewd and brilliant woman pretending to be a dumb hick; she really is a dumb hick.

We're not frightened by Palin. She's just another political troll, like Bush, Cheney, and Rove, who is intent upon sabotaging our government. Many of us are wise to the ways of such trolls now. We're upset by the fact that so many people could be so delusional as to give her any support whatsoever.

Jul. 07 2009 03:17 PM

Randy - you are part of the problem. Alex P. Keaton is a fictional character who was written in a very specific way. Real people are rarely like that.

And who says that Palin is running away from anything or quitting altogether. Her remarks about why she decided to leave the Governor's office made perfect sense to me when you factor in the destructive nature of the negatism in the press and how it might be affecting her family. I think she's simply going to take another tack and work the issues that way.

BTW, I do not think she is going to run for the Presidency. Far too many people hate her and there is just no way she'd be elected, and she knows that.

Jul. 07 2009 01:24 PM

Amy from Manattan, the quote is, "only dead fish go with the flow." Get it right.

For the person who thinks that $500,000 for legal fees sounds like too much money, buy a brain - a few lawyers on a team billing at a couple hundred bucks an hour (rates can vary from $50 to over $1000 an hour or more) can add up in a hurry.

For the people who question why McCain choser her, the answer is simple - he had to do something unconventional to have any chance of winning because due to the unpopularity of GW Bush, the race was Obama's to lose. It was a gamble that didn't work out, but it was one that had to be made if he was going to have any kind of a chance at all.

I can't believe the ignorance in some of the postings here in this message board. It's as if you guys are actually believing the garbage the media has spoon fed to you over the last year or so.

Jul. 07 2009 01:20 PM
jon mihans from garner nc

Hey calls em as i sees em,
Afraid of her? who's afraid, I hope she does run, she is the funniest thing since Richard Pryor passed away. Your party should be afraid, if she gets the nod it will be game, set, match for the dems. Sarah represents all that is wrong with the GOP. they always choose image over substance. Get back in the game. find another Ike and lets move forward

Jul. 07 2009 01:19 PM
Randy in Maine from Maine

I think someone is advising Mrs. Palin poorly. She should have stayed in office. Now she has run from the fight that she claims was brought upon her. How can this look good for her wanna-be presidential run? Obama, as much as I do not agree with his policies, would eat her for lunch in a televised debate. Where are all the Alex P. Keetons of the Republican Party? Do they have anyone better than Palin to run for them? If not, bye bye republicrats until at least 2016!

Jul. 07 2009 01:09 PM from

I'm still a big fan of the "finishing school" theory:

Jul. 07 2009 01:05 PM
abonabi from florida

You mean with all of her avid followers, not one was a lawyer willing to do some pro bono work in her defense? I think she is going underground for a couple years to learn how to form a parsable sentence.

Jul. 07 2009 12:56 PM
Mike Licht from Washington DC

For Sarah Palin so loves Alaska that she's sacrificing her valuable TITLE.


Jul. 07 2009 10:10 AM
mozo from nyc

If we can't fix the economy by 2012, Palin will be the next President of the United States. She will be elected by voters like Calls'em As I Sees'em who, unfortunately, outnumber the more thoughtful and informed posters here in these comments.

Hitler came back after spending some time in jail, writing Mein Kampf. Nixon was never supposed to come back, at least if you believed the press at the time. Do not underestimate the appeal of this woman. Or the numbers of her supporters.

Jul. 06 2009 01:36 PM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

Todd is quite the hachett man. Does anyone remember his attack on Bill Clinton in 2008?

Clinton fought back against Vanity Fair scribe Todd Purdum, during which he calls him "sleazy," "dishonest," "slimy," and a "sc--bag" for writing the attack piece in that month's issue.

Purdum's article was full of rumor and innuendo, and it was ruthless with regard to Clinton's post-presidency behavior. Even if every bit of it is true, Bubba had the right to get angry.

Bill Clinton is a fighter, and, for him, his wife's entire campaign was been an exercise in bottling up those instincts (with middling success). Of course he mouthed off. Purdum's story implied that Clinton is sleazy. Is it any surprise Clinton shot the accusation right back?

Clinton didn't say anything racist, politically incorrect, or untrue. Of course he thought the media favored Obama, Hillary said so several times. And of course he thinks Purdum is a sc--bag. So would anyone else if someone wrote a nasty article about him or her.

Yeah, it's not distinguished behavior for an elder statesman, but [before Obama] liked our presidents tough. [Para-phrased and edited for tense... From NY Mag 6-30-2008 on-line - their (c) 2008. Posted under fair use rules]

Jul. 06 2009 01:23 PM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

-- Lenny, when are you going to start telling the whole truth? WNYC's ads talking about "context" are frauds. The FCC, FEC and FTC have rules about these things. Why not just register as a 527 org backed by Move-On.Org supporters and money? Pay the fines and then just be a propaganda organization.

Jul. 06 2009 12:58 PM
Mike C. from Downtown Manhattan

Lance from UES -- I totally agree. Just didn't have time to write that.

Jul. 06 2009 12:55 PM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

FYI - Gov. Sarah Palin Quietly Cleared of All Ethics Charges Monday, June 8, 2009 9:22 AM By: Amanda Carpenter, The Washington Times (c) 2009 All Rights Reserved [Posted under "fair use" non-commercial use rules]

The accusations made news, but with another dismissal of an ethics charge last week against Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice-presidential nominee has quietly been cleared of every ethics complaint filed since the torrent of allegations began in 2008.

Mrs. Palin, who became a target of such complaints after being named Sen. John McCain's running mate, is 14-for-14 in fighting off the complaints. She's been cleared of 13 charges by the independent State Personnel Board and of another complaint by the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

After the latest complaint in Alaska was dismissed last week, Mrs. Palin's team said that having to fend off the pile of accusations was wasting state money. "This complaint cost the governor personally, and the state of Alaska, thousands of dollars to address," said Thomas Van Flein, the governor's attorney. "It is regrettable that the ethics process has been diverted for partisan purposes by some, but it is also commendable that the board remains focused on the law."

Jul. 06 2009 12:53 PM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

Lenny, what a scurrilous and slanderous hachett job. Why is the left so afraid of Sarah Palin? Why is the media so sexist and age-ist? Sarah Palin is not a Washington insider and now can tell the truth about Obama. Obama is wrecking the economy and the future of this country. Regulars pull their punches, Sarah won’t. Here are some things she should talk about:
1- Kenyan Ambassador admits Obama born in Kenya -
The entire phone call can be heard here:
2 - Affidavit and Tape-Proof Obama Born in Kenya
3 - Obama Campaign posted Birth Certificate is a fraud

Jul. 06 2009 12:41 PM
Lance from UES

"Would the repubs really choose back a quitter?"

Richard Nixon.

Jul. 06 2009 12:35 PM
Richard Williams from Larchmont, NY

This is all over and done with. Let's move on.

Jul. 06 2009 12:31 PM
Amy from Manhattan

"Only dead fish go downstream"? You'd think an Alaskan would know that after salmon swim upstream to spawn, the young salmon that hatch swim downstream to live in the ocean.

Jul. 06 2009 12:29 PM
the truth from bkny

This has been the longest 15 minutes ever!

Jul. 06 2009 12:28 PM
the truth from bkny

I hope this is not her twisted way of stepping down to prepare for a run at the presidency in 2012. Would the repubs really choose back a quitter? a loser perhaps, but not a quitter!

Jul. 06 2009 12:25 PM
the truth from bkny

She took her ball and went home!

Jul. 06 2009 12:20 PM
Michael from Greenwich Ct

She was not prepared to be or even run for VP. All the scrutiny that she got because she wasn't executive material... That is the overriding issue...

Jul. 06 2009 12:18 PM
Lance from UES

Mike C, if choosing Palin to be the President's understudy was a carefully calculated move, that's even worse.

Jul. 06 2009 12:18 PM
anonymous from manhattan

why give this woman any more time? she's a train wreck. her foibles might be entertaining to some, but please leave it for the tabloids.

Jul. 06 2009 12:13 PM
Mike C. from Downtown Manhattan

BTW, Lance from UES, McCain did not choose Ms. Palin "apparently on a whim." That was a calculated move by the folks who ran his campaign, and one that showed he would do anything to win.

Jul. 06 2009 12:13 PM
Hugh from Brookyn

Sarah Palin sounds like someone who is mired in the thinking of a popular high school brat. Once upon a time, she got her way all the time. Being vindictive, mean-spirited paid off. And because she was popular, people let her get away with it.

She's a little old to be behaving like a high school student. (And most high school students act better than that anyway.)

Jul. 06 2009 12:13 PM
Kim Motter from Inwood

Sarah Palin: A long walk off a short career.

Jul. 06 2009 12:12 PM
Mike C. from Downtown Manhattan

Leonard, please ask your guest if there's any truth to Ms. Palin's claim that owes $500,000 in lawyers fees from fighting ethics complaints. Such a large amount of money smells a bit "fishy."

Jul. 06 2009 12:11 PM
Lance from UES

McCain/Palin was doomed because their party was at the helm during the financial collapse.

But even if the economy had been faring well, McCain/Palin was a disaster because Palin is so poorly informed on the major issues of national governance.

The fact that McCain chose her, apparently on a whim, given all the alternative choices he could have made, shows how poorly suited he would have been to the presidency.

Jul. 06 2009 12:07 PM
Janny from jersey city

I seriously do not know if i have the stomach or the stamina to withstand a possible Palin presidential run in prediction is that she will run as a 3rd party lunatic fringe candidate...

Jul. 06 2009 11:28 AM

Palin entered stage right as Clint Eastwood and exited stage left as George Costanza. Her decision to resign was an act of breathtaking and monumental cowardice.

Jul. 06 2009 08:38 AM

Palin’s speech was a mixture of Lewis Carroll’s nonsense verse, James Joyce’s stream of consciousness, William Burroughs’ cut-ups, and Irwin Corey’s gibberish. Can someone post a link to a Palin/English Dictionary so I can find out what Palin actually said? If anyone could discern a coherent message or agenda within this speech, please contact the MacArthur Foundation to collect your Genius Award. Palin’s speech was so dizzying that I had to take motion sickness pills.

Jul. 06 2009 08:37 AM
Ant718 from The Bronx, NY

All I know is we are very lucky she is not our VP. OMG the Horror!!

Jul. 04 2009 08:26 AM

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