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David Brooks on the campaign today

Feb 10, 2000
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Apparently David Brooks, the NY Times' Republican pundit, spoke last night at an event for The Atlantic Magazine. There are a lot of interesting bits here, and surprising candor (one of the reasons I've always liked Brooks).

Some highlights:

"[Sarah Palin] represents a fatal cancer to the Republican party. When I first started in journalism, I worked at the National Review for Bill Buckley. And Buckley famously said he'd rather be ruled by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the Harvard faculty. But he didn't think those were the only two options. He thought it was important to have people on the conservative side who celebrated ideas, who celebrated learning. And his whole life was based on that, and that was also true for a lot of the other conservatives in the Reagan era. Reagan had an immense faith in the power of ideas. But there has been a counter, more populist tradition, which is not only to scorn liberal ideas but to scorn ideas entirely. And I'm afraid that Sarah Palin has those prejudices. I think President Bush has those prejudices."

Brooks praised Palin's natural political talent, but said she is "absolutely not" ready to be president or vice president. He explained, "The more I follow politicians, the more I think experience matters, the ability to have a template of things in your mind that you can refer to on the spot, because believe me, once in office there's no time to think or make decisions."

The New York Times columnist also said that the "great virtue" of Palin's counterpart, Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden, is that he is anything but a "yes man."

"[Biden] can't not say what he thinks," Brooks remarked. "There's no internal monitor, and for Barack Obama, that's tremendously important to have a vice president who will be that way. Our current president doesn't have anybody like that."

Brooks also spent time praising Obama's intellect and skills in social perception, telling two stories of his interactions with Obama that left him "dazzled."

* * *

Brooks predicted an Obama victory by nine points, and said that although he found Obama to be "a very mediocre senator," he was is surrounded by what Brooks called "by far the most impressive people in the Democratic party."

"He's phenomenally good at surrounding himself with a team," Brooks said. "I disagree with them on most issues, but I am given a lot of comfort by the fact that the people he's chosen are exactly the people I think most of us would want to choose if we were in his shoes. So again, I have doubts about him just because he was such a mediocre senator, but his capacity to pick staff is impressive."
At the end of the day, I think the Palin pick was just the first of a series of desperate hail-Marys by McCain, the others being his "suspension" of his campaign and his new proposal for buying up bad mortgages. I have always felt it was just a disastrously short-sighted and cynical move to pick her for VP.
 

TheSlamma

Diamond Member
Sep 6, 2005
7,625
4
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Originally posted by: Don Vito Corleone
At the end of the day, I think the Palin pick was just the first of a series of desperate hail-Marys by McCain, the others being his "suspension" of his campaign and his new proposal for buying up bad mortgages. I have always felt it was just a disastrously short-sighted and cynical move to pick her for VP.
I agree.. but I hope the desparate moves don't make the people voting blue drop their guard not go and vote because of it. We still need this to be a landslide victory.. close calls result in RED
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
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I think he makes some good points, but perhaps goes a bit too far.

Practically speaking, there will always be a place in politics, no matter which party, for populism. I think she represents populism.

But I also think that appropriate for McCain. Many here think it his worst possible choice, out-of-character, and done merely for some gimmick factor. To the contrary, I think it a natural choice for him.

Personally, I think McCain far more a populist than a conservative intellectual, so he chose someone of his ilk.

I like intellectuals in government, but am not pursuaded that that they must be the POTUS. We might get along just fine with a POTUS merely surrounded by them. Intellect != judgement or leadership or inspirational.

Fern
 

5to1baby1in5

Golden Member
Apr 27, 2001
1,210
79
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At the end of the day, I think the Palin pick was just the first of a series of desperate hail-Marys by McCain, the others being his "suspension" of his campaign and his new proposal for buying up bad mortgages. I have always felt it was just a disastrously short-sighted and cynical move to pick her for VP.
The Palin pick was simply an attempt to get the Hillary supporters to come over to the McCain camp. It backfired because she really didn't bring anything to their side except a pair of boobs and another republican scandle.

The suspension of his campain was just an attempt to put off a debate he was ill prepared for just a few days after the economy took a dump. He was hoping the bailout would immediatly turn the markets back around, and thus make the economy a non-issue.

Not sure what to think about his proposal for buying up bad mortgages. I suspect it's just a lie to the middle class, and would never come to pass.



Anyone else notice that when McCain talks about the economy, and how he would fix it, it sounds like he's telling a bedtime story to children?
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
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The reality is that Palin has turned out to be the best gift the democrats could have asked for. It was going all in but your bluff is called. She is really like an attractive Bush. A better talker, but every bit if not more naive. McCain always had a hard fight with this election, but she has turned into a fatal error.
The Palin pick was simply an attempt to get the Hillary supporters to come over to the McCain camp.
And it probably worked with some, but Hillary has infinite more knowledge of politics and the world than Palin. And it's painfully obvious.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,375
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It's almost like McCain realized he didn't want to be President after receiving the nod. Palin is just a way to bow out with Dignity. Think of it as Political Euthenasia.
 

seemingly random

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 2007
5,281
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Originally posted by: sandorski
It's almost like McCain realized he didn't want to be President after receiving the nod. Palin is just a way to bow out with Dignity. Think of it as Political Euthenasia.
:laugh:
Suicide by voter.

It doesn't make sense but his decisions seem to lead one to believe this. It's almost suspicious. Though, that may be giving him too much credit and it is as it appears.

When first asked by a repug what my opinion was of mccain's vp pick, my off the cuff response was "it appears that mccain doesn't have much respect for americans". It now appears to be more accurate than I realized at the time.
 

winnar111

Banned
Mar 10, 2008
2,847
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Originally posted by: sandorski
It's almost like McCain realized he didn't want to be President after receiving the nod. Palin is just a way to bow out with Dignity. Think of it as Political Euthenasia.
Wouldn't surprise me, given this current financial crisis. Nobody has any idea what to do.
 

evident

Lifer
Apr 5, 2005
11,625
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Originally posted by: techs
"Palin in 2012"
"Brains are overrated"
The 9/11 hijackers had brains in their heads. If you have a brain, you are an american hating terrorist!!!
 

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