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Comments on Campaign 2010

Palin, McCain together again

Ex-Alaska governor encourages Tea Party to 'send the maverick back'

John McCain and Sarah Palin appeared together Friday for the first time since the end of the 2008 presidential campaign, on stage at the Pima County Fairgrounds.

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Mar 26, 2010, 10:19 pm
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So, these tea party types got there at 3 AM to get in, and Sarah could only spare them 15 minutes? In her case, I understand, this might be classified as a major speech, as it consisted of more than the two wods, ” I quit.” But still, fifteen minutes? And McCain’s speech is characterized as “relatively brief.” But compared to what? Was it brief compared to Palin’s already brief speech? Or was brief compared to generally long-winded speeches the old fool is prone to give? I can understand this report was written to meet a deadline, but shouldn’t there still have fact some fact checking about McCain’s completely false claims regarding the health care legislation just passed?. In essence this report gives me no insight into what really took place, and it implies that everyone who was there now loves McCain again. Why was there no time to gather a few specific quotes from people in attendance to support this conclusion? I expect the Star will have all that and more. There’s a difference between objective journalism and opinion pieces, but even objective journalism should go beyond mere stenography. This report seems to imply that McCain won over the teas party Palin worshipers, a claim I sincerely doubt.

Mar 27, 2010, 2:19 am
-0 +2

That would be great if McCain and Palin are now together again. By the way, Oh wow – Randy Neugebauer won’t necessarily be unsuccessful in his next re-election campaign, but he might lose a few payday loans worth of campaign contributions for calling Bart Stupak a baby killer.  What a goofball.  He certainly, along with Joe Wilson, does no credit to the Republican Party.  You see, this is why I voted Democrat last time – they’re just so much more…well, Democrats tend to be adults about things.  Granted, they also happen to be wrong a lot of the time, but the other side is wrong and completely irrational.  He’s going to be the butt of jokes for years, and he deserves it for this one.

Mar 27, 2010, 5:06 am
-1 +1

It would be great as a comedy act, maybe. They could work the nursing home circuit.
kyleigh, the reason nothing will hurt Neugebauer is that he’s in a safely Republican district.It’s all so fixed, and the Democrats have all gone along with this, so some of their seats are never in play. One name for you, James Traficant, look him up,  a former Dem rep with a hairpiece that looked like a dead otter. This guy was on the take from local mob for decades, but he kept getting re-elected. When he was finally sent to the slammer, he ran as an independent from jail, and he almost won! I think that tells all you need about Congress. It’s a joke. I always liked the question that Johnny Carson used to give as the Great Karnak (his phony mystic persona). Ed would say “Send in the Clowns,” and the Great Karnak would answer, “What they play now at Dodger Stadium now before games instead of the National Anthem.” They really should play “Send in the Clowns” before every session of the House and Senate.

Mar 27, 2010, 6:40 am
-0 +2

An airhead and a hothead. Just what our country needs.

Mar 27, 2010, 7:42 am
-0 +1

markflint, If McCain and Palin were to mate (a thought that just turned my stomach), their offspring could be named “Idiot Wind.” After all, don’t the tea party people compare themselves to hippie protesters of the 60s? So why shouldn’t they burden their children with names that will forever embarrass them? Of course Zowie Bowie dumped his name. Anyone know if Moon Unit Zappa has done the same?

Mar 27, 2010, 8:13 am
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I don’t agree with your assessment of our coverage of the speech.

The news was A) Palin and McCain appearing together for the first time since the campaign and B) Palin trying to get the Tea Party to support him, and how she went about it. Was a 15-minute speech enough? We won’t know that for a while.

We could have found some TP members and asked, but in the afterglow of the speech, those reactions might have bee a bit colored. And perhaps we could have tracked down some Democrats who showed up, but would their reactions be anything different from what we’ve heard from them for the past two years? Probably not.

Have no fear, we will be closely following this campaign and how it develops. Once things settle down, we’ll take a more in-depth look at how McCain’s supporters are lining up and whether Palin’s speech had any impact on the local Tea Party.

“I expect the Star will have all that and more.”

Yes, they have this important nugget:

“What Palin was wearing: A black leather motorcycle jacket with zippers and an American flag pin. Real leather. No word on exactly what kind. The Huffington Post started a “Love it or Lose it” poll.”

Mar 27, 2010, 8:29 am
-1 +2

I’m going to modify some of what I wrote in my 11:19 PM comment last night, because I meant no disrespect to the reporter. My general policy is to NEVER criticize another writer, unless they’re some pompous ass writing for a national paper (WSJ, NYT, WP, etc.) or a major magazine. That said, if you are going position yourself as an “alternative” and “better” news source than whatever daily paper exists in your city; then, if you cover the same event they do, you need provide more depth than their coverage, not less. I look at three or four papers Online every morning, so, of course, I read Phil Villarreal’s piece on Palin/McCain in the Star. It isn’t much longer than the Sentinel’s piece, but in it, he manages to work in comments from both supporters and detractors about Palin and McCain, and even comments from people protesting outside the fence. Phil Villarreal, as some of you know, was the Star’s film reviewer, before they decided it was cheaper to buy the reviews from AP. I think his work since then as a general reporter—at least what of it I’ve seen—proves absolutely that a good writer is a good writer, and the subject matter (unless it’s highly technical, requiring specific scientific knowledge) is irrelevant.

Mar 27, 2010, 9:02 am
-1 +1

Michael, With respect, that detail about the jacket speaks volumes, it’s not just trivia. Painting a word picture is what good articles do. Tracking down and interviewing people from both sides (even in, and maybe especially in,  the ” immediate afterglow” of the event), the last time I looked, that’s called journalism, or a reporter doing his job. Not fact checking anything said at the event. That’s a disservice to your readers. You can’t say we print “just the facts,” because that lets the subjects of the piece control the content of the article. Might as well just hand them the pen.

Mar 27, 2010, 1:15 pm
-1 +0

Michael, with all due respect for your experience as a journalist, I’d like to make two last points. You write that “we won’t know if Palin was successful” in converting the tea party people to McCain supporters for some time. I agree, but the article itself implies she was instantly successful:

He then exited the stage to strains of Whitesnake’s “Here I go Again,” as the crowd roared their approval, chanting “Mac is back.”

You mention that interviewing the usual political suspects would get you nothing you haven’t heard them say for month after month.
There’s a reason law enforcement people call suspects back in time after time, and ask them the same questions. They may repeat the same answers 24 times, but on the 25th time they may say something different which throws an entirely different light on the situation. Isn’t it the same with questioning politicians or political operatives? Watching it from the outside, it can seem like badgering, when the person being questioned repeats the same answer many times. But there’s often that one time that they slip up, or maybe they genuinely change their mind. If you don’t ask, you miss discovering that. Now I’ll leave it be. :-)

Mar 27, 2010, 1:23 pm
-0 +1

What she wore is irrelevant, unless you’re writing for People.

What was relevant, and noted on the MSNBC coverage, was how pained McCain seemed to be (although in fairness he seems in pain much of the time), and how Cindy seemed really uncomfortable with Palin.

Mar 27, 2010, 9:13 pm
-1 +0

mark, I disagree, and I’ve written a for a couple of papers. Injecting a little humor into an article does not make you a People magazine type writer (whatever that is). I seem to recall that People magazine, though I have not seen a copy of it in years, takes itself very seriously, despite the trivia it covers. Did you know the current editor of The Smithsonian magazine is a former People Magazine editor? Jesus, the New Yorker uses humor in serious articles. There’s no doubt in my mind that Villarreal’s piece in the Star is a superior piece of journalism compared to what the Sentinel published on the same subject. My criticism was made in hopes that an eventual improvement would take place. Automatically assuming Star=bad, while Sentinel=good is not being a critical reader. And MSNBC evening show hosts spent half the 2008 campaign commenting on Palin’s wardrobe. What makes their comment about that pained expression McCain always seems to be wearing any less gossip than writing about Sarah’s jacket? Maybe that pained expression on McCain’s face just means his Depends are too tight, and has nothing to do with Palin.

Mar 27, 2010, 9:50 pm
-0 +1

I spent a lot of years as a reporter and editorial writer, and there’s a world of difference between gossip columns and news reporter.

If the article is intended to be straight news reporting, injecting humor is bad journalism and bad writing; you won’t see it in a good newspaper. An op ed piece or column maybe, but no reporter who claims to be a serious journalist would inject humor into an otherwise hard news story.

The Star has good reporters, but it also has a number who have neither writing/reporting skills nor ethics.

Mar 27, 2010, 9:52 pm
-0 +0

OK, that should be “news reporting,” not “news reporter.” Past my bedtime.

Your Depends theory may be spot on, though.

Mar 27, 2010, 11:17 pm
-0 +1


If you’re concerned about Palin’s wardrobe, look at the photo.

Mar 28, 2010, 4:04 am
-0 +0

The point in commenting on what Palin was wearing is that it is part of the calculated image she has created of herself. Motorcycle jacket with American flag: Marlon Brando, plus Charlton Heston, but with a vagina. Image is relevant in politics. It seems you want to turn it around on me and say I’m somehow shallow for being observant enough see what she or her handlers were trying to project. It’s like the blue or red tie thing when male presidential candidates debate, or the color selection of Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits during her debates with Obama, or the sweater they put Wesley Clark in to “soften his image.” It’s all carefully planned to covey a subliminal message. We’re not talking about which dress some starlet was wearing the Oscars.

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