Congratulations, Mr. President-elect.
Thanks for the reminder, Truett…
…Elisabeth Hasselbeck introducing the Governor at her rallies this weekend. We’re sorry to inform our readers in Florida – we will not be anywhere NEAR all y’all Saturday or Sunday. We’re not interested in a “Survivor” cast-off holding forth with a candidate who has no relationship with the Constitution of the United States.
That’s just too much smirking and winking and condescension than we can take at one time.
(CNN) – Elizabeth Hasselbeck, the lone conservative on the daytime talk-show “The View,” is set to campaign with Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin this weekend.
Hasselbeck, who often clashes with her co-hosts over the presidential election, said Thursday the Alaska governor had asked her to participate in a weekend rally in Florida.
“Governor Palin asked me to be with her this Sunday to introduce her at the rallies in Florida and I am more than honored to be there,” Hasselbeck said. “So I will be flying there to travel with her and meet some pretty interesting people, I have a feeling. So that’s an honor, I am excited to do it, and I’ll have some stories on Monday.”
Palin is set to campaign in Iowa, Indiana, and Florida this weekend.
Hasselbeck has engaged in repeated arguments with co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, and Sherri Shepherd on-air over the presidential candidates, especially after the show’s unexpectedly hard-hitting interview with John McCain last month
Gosh – if they’d sent her to “TLC’s What Not to Wear” it would have only cost them $5,000!
Sarah Palin’s wardrobe joined the ranks of symbolic political excess on Wednesday, alongside John McCain’s multiple houses and John Edwards’s $400 haircut, as Republicans expressed fear that weeks of tailoring Ms. Palin as an average “hockey mom” would fray amid revelations that the Republican Party outfitted her with expensive clothing from high-end stores.
Cable television, talk radio and even shows like “Access Hollywood” seemed gripped with sartorial fever after campaign finance reports confirmed that the Republican National Committee spent $75,062 at Neiman Marcus and $49,425 at Saks Fifth Avenue in September for Ms. Palin and her family.
Advisers to Ms. Palin said on Wednesday that the purchases — which totaled about $150,000 and were classified as “campaign accessories” — were made on the fly after Ms. Palin, the governor of Alaska, was chosen as the Republican vice-presidential candidate on Aug. 29 and needed new clothes to match climates across the 50 states. They emphasized, too, that Ms. Palin did not spend time on the shopping, and that other people made the decision to buy such an array of clothes.
Yet Republicans expressed consternation publicly and privately that the shopping sprees on her behalf, which were first reported by Politico, would compromise Ms. Palin’s standing as Senator McCain’s chief emissary to working-class voters whose salvos at the so-called cultural elite often delight audiences at Republican rallies.
That possibility was brought to life, for instance, on “The View” on ABC, as Joy Behar, a co-host, noted the McCain campaign’s outreach to blue-collar workers — like an Ohio plumber who recently chided Senator Barack Obama over taxes — after another co-host, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, defended the expenditures.
“I don’t think Joe the Plumber wears Manolo Blahniks,” Ms. Behar said.
Advisers to Mr. Obama — as well as those of his rival in the Democratic primaries, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton — said that campaign money was never spent on personal clothing but that potentially embarrassing purchases could be blended into advertising budgets.
Mr. Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, however, listed two $400 haircuts as a campaign expense, and after they were detected he struggled to shake an elitist image in his failed Democratic presidential bid.
Such an image is unhelpful at this late stage of the general election, Republicans said, especially when many families are experiencing economic pain, and when the image applies to a candidate, like Ms. Palin, who has run for office in part on her appeal as an outdoors enthusiast and former small-town mayor who scorns pretensions.
“It looks like nobody with a political antenna was working on this,” said Ed Rollins, a Republican political consultant who ran President Ronald Reagan’s re-election campaign in 1984. “It just undercuts Palin’s whole image as a hockey mom, a ‘one-of-us’ kind of candidate.”
Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, have been described as elitist by both Republicans and Democrats at times, and so much was made when she appeared on “The View” in June in a black-and-white patterned dress. Turns out it sold for $148 at an off-the-rack store.
Few Republican operatives or politicians, even those critical of the McCain-Palin campaign, were publicly criticizing the ticket on Wednesday over the clothing purchases. Some said privately that doing so would be akin to kicking a campaign while it was down.
Others said the issue was tainted with sexism, given that male politicians often spend thousands of dollars on suits.
“She had a legitimate need to purchase clothing to get her through three months of grueling campaigning in the constant spotlight of television cameras,” said William F. B. O’Reilly, a Republican consultant in New York. “No one would blink if this was a male candidate buying Brooks Brothers suits.”
Other Republicans said the focus on Ms. Palin’s clothing did not fairly reflect the challenge she faced: Neither she nor her Republican allies expected that she would be tapped as Mr. McCain’s running mate until the last minute, when she was elevated from her comfort zone in Alaska and presented to the nation as the first female Republican vice-presidential nominee.
“If they hadn’t done this, ‘Saturday Night Live’ would be doing jokes where Governor Palin would be dressed in elk skin,” said Rich Galen, a Republican consultant not associated with the McCain campaign.
Party officials, who said they had discussed the matter with McCain and Palin advisers, said all concerned wanted Ms. Palin to present herself as a fashionable-but-sensible on-the-go working mother — a multilayered sartorial strategy, in other words, that has yielded an array of well-cut jackets and skirts, suitable for the different seasons and state climates.
More than $130,000 of the charges used to outfit Ms. Palin and her family were initially footed by Jeff Larson, a prominent Republican consultant in St. Paul whose firm has been tied to the onslaught of negative robocalls about Mr. Obama from Mr. McCain’s campaign. Mr. Larson was also the chief executive of the local host committee for the Republican National Convention, in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Federal Election Commission records showed Mr. Larson was reimbursed by the Republican National Committee for charges at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Barneys New York and Atelier New York, a men’s clothing store.
Other purchases by the R.N.C. included $98 from Pacifier, a children’s boutique in Minneapolis.
Hours before Ms. Palin was to speak at the convention on Sept. 3, a woman burst into the store, said Jon Witthuhn, an owner. After she said she needed something for a 6-month-old boy and was doing shopping related to the convention, it began to dawn on him that he might be outfitting Trig Palin, Ms. Palin’s youngest.
The woman paid for a blue striped convertible romper, a matching monkey-ear hat and socks. Trig Palin appeared on television that night wearing the outfit — without the hat.
Republican officials said all the clothes would be given to charity after the campaign is over. If Ms. Palin kept the clothes, the $150,000 would have to be taxed as income, tax experts said.
Had the purchases been made by the McCain campaign, it would be a conversion of campaign money into personal use, which is prohibited. The same rule does not apply to money from party committees.
“The R.N.C. cleverly used the party committee’s money to avoid the liability that would have occurred if campaigns funds were used,” said Kenneth Gross, a lawyer who is an expert in campaign finance.
Under disclosure requirements of the Alaska Public Offices Commission, Ms. Palin would need to report any gifts valued at over $250 from a single giver.
Elisabeth Bumiller and Leslie Wayne contributed reporting.
TOP – John McCain’s Presidential Campaign
BOTTOM – McCain Food Company
Stumped by an 8-year-old – can you spell “Potato(e)?”
Wednesday, October 22nd 2008, 2:54 PM
She’s contending for arguably the second most powerful title in the country – if not the world. But it seems Sarah Palin could use a brush-up on the vice-president’s job description.
Asked by an elementary school student what a vice president does, Republican candidate Sarah Palin responded that the vice president is the president’s “team mate” but also “runs the Senate” and “can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes.”
While aimed at a typical 8-year-old, Palin’s explanations oversimplify the U.S. Constitution’s definition of the duties of the vice president and don’t match the office’s traditional role in Senate activities.
The vice president’s main duty is to replace the president if the president dies, resigns, is removed from office or can no longer carry out his or her duties for other reasons. The Constitution names the vice president as the president of the Senate but allows the vice president to cast a vote only to break a tie.
The vice president, as a member of the executive branch of the government, has no official role in developing legislation or determining how it is presented to or debated by the Senate, which is part of the legislative branch. In all meaningful ways, the leader of the majority party runs the Senate.
Traditionally, the vice president appears in the Senate for ceremonial events and in case of a tie vote. Although the vice president can preside over the Senate, vice presidents have left that day-to-day chore to senators themselves. In the past, each president has determined the role of the vice president in an administration.
The subject of the vice president’s duties came up as Palin sat for an interview with KUSA-TV in Denver, which has a feature called “Question from the Third Grade.” The interviewer asked, “Brandon Garcia wants to know, ‘What does the vice president do?'”
“That’s a great question, Brandon, and a vice president has a really great job, because not only are they there to support the president’s agenda, they’re like the team member, the team mate to that president,” Palin said.
“But also, they’re in charge of the United States Senate, so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom. And it’s a great job and I look forward to having that job,” she said.
On August 17, 2007 – we posted the article below. In light of the events of the past few weeks, please take a few minutes and re-read this amazing piece of information.
There have been many harsh words in this campaign – on both sides. PLEASE – set aside your politics and take 20 minutes out of your day to watch these three videos. They made us laugh out loud – primarily because both candidates say what everyone around here has wanted to say for WEEKS!
John McCain – Part 1
John McCain – Part 2