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Thursday night, Republicans sang the praises of Sarah Palin for surviving the Vice President debate with Democrat Joe Biden. Just shy of 70 million people tuned in, 34% more than last week's showdown between White House hopefuls John McCain and Barack Obama, this was obviously must see TV. 


At stake wasn’t a win against Biden. But any sign that McCain’s VP choice had some ounce of sanity. Palin introduced the attack her disastrous interview with CBS' Katie Couric on Monday. During the interview, Palin drew gasps from viewers when she seemed to draw a blank when asked by Couric which newspapers and magazines she reads. Palin, who told Fox News Channel on Friday that she reads the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, among other publications, said she was annoyed by the question.


Kept afloat by a well-received performance against her Democratic opponent, Sen. Joe Biden, in their debate Thursday, she playfully apologized for what she described as her "impatient" response to Couric.


"Evidently there's been a lot of interest in what I read lately," she said. "I was reading today a copy of the New York Times. And I was really interested to read in there about Barack Obama's friends from Chicago. Turns out one of his earliest supporters is a man who, according to the New York Times, was a domestic terrorist, that quote 'launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and the United States Capitol.'"


Saturday's New York Times story, an investigation into whether Obama had a relationship with Ayers, concluded that the men were never close and that Obama has denounced Ayers' radical past, which occurred when Obama, who was born in 1961, was a child. It also found that he has downplayed their contacts.


"This is not a man who sees America as you and I see America," Palin said of Obama. "We see America as a force for good in this world. We see America as a force for exceptionalism. ... Our opponents see America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who would bomb their own country."


The Obama campaign responded forcefully. "Governor Palin's comments, while offensive, are not surprising, given the McCain campaign's statement this morning that they would be launching Swift Boat-like attacks in hopes of deflecting attention from the nation's economic ills," Obama-Biden spokesman Hari Sevugan said.


"In fact, the very newspaper story Governor Palin cited in hurling her shameless attack made clear that Senator Obama is not close to Bill Ayers, much less 'pals,' and that he has strongly condemned the despicable acts Ayers committed 40 years ago, when Obama was 8. What's clear is that John McCain and Sarah Palin would rather spend their time tearing down Barack Obama than laying out a plan to build up our economy."


After recklessly spouting such far-fetched conclusions, perhaps it was a good thing that she didn’t pick up any sort of periodicals to read.


Yes, it was clear she didn’t experience the same debacle that occurred last week with Katie Couric of CBS that deepened doubts about her qualifications.   Instead, she stuck to her rehearsed script filled with tales of soccer moms, hockey moms, Joe Sixpacks, main-streeters, “you betchas” and “darn rights.” So much so that she even refused to answer those questions that clearly were not apart of her cram session. The Sarah Palin the world saw, was quite rehearsed but with no clear missteps she had accomplished her goal of survival.   


Two quick polls indicated that Biden fared better in viewers' minds than Palin in the debate. A CBS News/Knowledge Networks Poll found that 46 percent of uncommitted voters who watched the debate thought Biden won, with 21 percent siding with Palin. A CNN poll found respondents judging Biden the winner by a margin of 51 percent to 36 percent but calling Palin more likable by 54 percent to Biden's 36 percent.


……That’s only if you consider providing accurate “facts” to the American public important.


Consider these examples to chew on:


PALIN: Said of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama: "94 times he voted to increase taxes or not support a tax reduction."


THE FACTS: The dubious count includes repetitive votes as well as votes to cut taxes for the middle class while raising them on the rich. An analysis by found that 23 of the votes were for measures that would have produced no tax increase at all, seven were in favor of measures that would have lowered taxes for many, 11 would have increased taxes on only those making more than $1 million a year.


PALIN: "Two years ago, remember, it was John McCain who pushed so hard with the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform measures. He sounded that warning bell."


THE FACTS: Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska led an effort in 2005 to tighten regulation on the mortgage underwriters — McCain joined as a co-sponsor a year later. The legislation was never taken up by the full Senate, then under Republican control.


PALIN: Claimed she has taken on the oil industry as Alaska governor.


THE FACTS: Palin pushed to impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies and distributed the proceeds to the state's citizens to offset rising energy costs. However, she has also sided with the industry on a number of issues. She sued the Interior Department over its designation of polar bears as an endangered species. That puts her on the same side as the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry's chief trade association. She also supports the industry's desire to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — a position at odds with McCain.


PALIN: Said the United States has reduced its troop level in Iraq to a number below where it was when the troop increase began in early 2007.


THE FACTS: Not correct. The Pentagon says there are currently 152,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, about 17,000 more than there were before the 2007 military buildup began.


PALIN: Said Alaska is "building a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline, which is North America's largest and most expensive infrastructure project ever to flow those sources of energy into hungry markets."


THE FACTS: Not quite. Construction is at least six years away. So far the state has only awarded a license to Trans Canada Corp., that comes with $500 million in seed money in exchange for commitments toward a lengthy and costly process to getting a federal certificate. At an August news conference after the state Legislature approved the license, Palin said, "It's not a done deal."


She also she twice misstated the name of the top American general in Afghanistan


It’s it great that we live in the land of America where anyone can run for president?


Wink, Wink!


--D. Jones

Editor in Chief


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