If you were going to quit your governorship in mid-stream, and you were a winger, who would you call? If you're Sarah Palin, add Rudy Giuliani (hopefully he didn't propose to her too much... or drool into the phone about how much she reminds him of his cousin...) Dick Cheney (who apparently discussed the ogre-like family's possible vacation trip to Alaska, during which 'm sure Sarah and her kin will keep their whale guns at the ready...) [sidebar: Jesus, Republicans are creepy!] ... and Florida's very own Charlie Crist to the list. Reports ABC News:
Palin's phone calls are shown on her official schedule for May 2009, obtained by Alaskan Andree McLeod through an open-records request with the state and shared with ABC News. McLeod has filed numerous open-records requests for Palin-related documents, as well as four ethics complaints against the governor and her aides.
"GOV: Telephone Call Into Governor Crist," reads a May 4 entry in Palin's schedule. A spokeswoman for Crist said she did not know who had initiated contact, or what the subject of conversation was to have been, but the two did not speak. "It was a courtesy call. They know each other, both being governors," said Crist spokeswoman Erin Isaac.
Crist may have had his own reasons to chat with Palin: to promote his candidacy for U.S. Senate, which Crist launched one week after Palin's phone call. Nine days later, Crist announced an endorsement by Sen. John McCain, Palin's 2008 GOP ticket-topper.
So will the Barricuda endorse the tan guy in Tallahassee over the RedState base's choice, Marco Rubio, or will she "go rogue" again and oppose McCain's choice and add fresh drama to the Florida GOP Senate primary? (Hell, at least their party HAS primary drama ...) The plot thickens...
Sarah Palin does her best Dick Nixon ... only without the gravitas or the jowls ... (and with a wading thingy on!) From CNN:
And now, Nixon's version:
Interesting that Nixon talked about money, just like Sarah. He was also a paranoid who spent more time lashing out at enemies -- real and perceived -- than governing, just like Sarah. Oh, and Nixon quit his job early, too, though Nixon had, to his credit, a long and distinguished career, serving in the military and in full terms in the House, Senate, as Vice President and President, before he crashed and burned in Watergate and jumped ship before he could be impeached. And therein lies the difference. Our friend Sarah is a better looking Nixon without the accomplishments or the brains.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going, also
(...and by going, I mean "gone.")
Sarah Palin shocked the political (and grammatical) world yesterday, by pulling a Ross Perot (just as nasally, but much less succinctly,) and quitting her job as governor of Alaska. To add insult to the injury she's now done to her political career (and the voters who elected her,) she tried and failed to pull what I'm sure she thought was a clever maneuver: scurrying out of the 18 months remaining in her term on the Friday before July Fourth. I guess nobody explained to Sarah the concepts of "slow news day" and "sSunday shows...") Here's a small part of Miss Wasila's rambling exit speech (which made Mark Sanford look like the sound bite king):
Watch the whole, tortured 14 minutes here. Or read the transcript if you dare, and good luck not getting a headache from all the verb splitting. Now, of course, basketball analogies aside, there seem to be about three possible scenarios that might cause Sister Sarah to quit on her base so suddenly:
1. Dead presidents. Palin said during her ramble that she and Todd have built up about $500,000 in legal bills defending Sarah's multiple ethics charges. By quitting as governor, she frees herself to hit the lecture (shudder) and TV circuit and make some cash. Hell, she may even get her own talk radio show (can you just imagine listening to her talk for three hours straight? Scary!)
2. The hounds are advancing. Some big, major ethics or criminal probe was about to hit her, so Sarah's getting out of dodge to avoid it. Maybe she even made a deal with prosecutors or investigators to resign rather than face the music. Wouldn't be the first time a politician did that one!
3. Cooped up in Alaska. Sarah loves the fame she's accumulated, and you get the feeling Sarah thinks she's way too big a star to be stuck in the governor's mansion. Her public needs her, and now she's free to give them her all, without the chirping of annoying "ethics complaints" every time she leaves the state. She'd much rather travel the country, stump for Republican candidates and build up some favors in advance of a hilarious 2012 run (personally, I'm hoping for this one.)
4. She and Todd have decided to go ahead and take that secessionist party national. Okay, just kidding on that one. Maybe. Actually, one Huffpo contributor, journo Geoffrey Dunn reminds that she quit her last statewide office too, suggesting she might just be a serial quitter.
5. She's figured out that despite her devoted following, her 15 minutes are waning. So she's decided to cash in while the gettin's good. After all, why should that little shit Levi get all the reality show love. The move also gives Sarah time to rush her book out before Levi's, since Levi's book clearly won't be helpful...
Of course, it could also be all three. Or she might be insane.
Meanshile, the pundits react:
... but Politico leaves off the best reaction of all, by Ed Rollins:
And while Sarah's biggest devotee, Roger Simon, apparently couldn't bear to write a critical word about his Sarah, the rest of the staff at Politico had at it. Jonathan Martin reports Republicans divided ... Glenn Thrush has five questions ... Mike Allen provides some back-up for my scenarios 1 and 3 ...
More good stuff:
The Anchorage Daily News reports on the thrills and chills Palin's decision is sending through Alaska politics.
When your husband calls somebody other than you his "soul mate," and talks openly about having the fall back in love with you? It's time to admit it's over. (Just ask any of Rudy Giuliani's former wives, including the one who was dumped on television...) Meanwhile, the freshness date has clearly expired on Mark Sanford's political future. Or has it...?
COLUMBIA, S.C. – When South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford cheated on his wife, he also betrayed his top political adviser.
First lady Jenny Sanford told the world in a statement Wednesday that she had sent her husband packing nearly 15 years after she launched his political career.
Mark Sanford apologized to her and their four sons at a tearful press conference where he admitted a yearlong affair with a friend in Argentina whom he had visited on a secret trip.
His wife said in her own statement later that she kicked him out of the house two weeks ago and asked him not to speak to her while she tried to come to grips with his infidelity.
It was an abrupt and stunning — even if temporary — split for a couple who helped shape the state's political landscape.
During Mark Sanford's first gubernatorial campaign in 2002, Jenny ran the show from the basement of their Sullivans Island beach house while he fretted as the wind blew his charts off of tripods during outdoor press conferences.
And perhaps more importantly:
Jenny Sanford is a millionaire whose family fortune comes from the Skil Corp. power tool company.
Yep. He's a goner. Especially since Jenny Sanford's statement included the following:
I personally believe that the greatest legacy I will leave behind in this world is not the job I held on Wall Street, or the campaigns I managed for Mark, or the work I have done as First Lady or even the philanthropic activities in which I have been routinely engaged. Instead, the greatest legacy I will leave in this world is the character of the children I, or we, leave behind. It is for that reason that I deeply regret the recent actions of my husband Mark, and their potential damage to our children.
I believe wholeheartedly in the sanctity, dignity and importance of the institution of marriage. I believe that has been consistently reflected in my actions. When I found out about my husband's infidelity I worked immediately to first seek reconciliation through forgiveness, and then to work diligently to repair our marriage. We reached a point where I felt it was important to look my sons in the eyes and maintain my dignity, self-respect, and my basic sense of right and wrong. I therefore asked my husband to leave two weeks ago.
This trial separation was agreed to with the goal of ultimately strengthening our marriage. During this short separation it was agreed that Mark would not contact us. I kept this separation quiet out of respect of his public office and reputation, and in hopes of keeping our children from just this type of public exposure. Because of this separation, I did not know where he was in the past week.
The fact that Sanford spent his period of what was supposed to be reflection and healing, crying in the arms of his mistress cannot bode well for his financial ... I mean marital ... future. Read Jenny Sanford's full statement here.
Mark Sanford is back! ... and he wasn't on the Appalachian trail. He was out of the freaking country (in Buenos Aires, Argentina, no less.)
Sanford said he had considered hiking on the Appalachian Trail, an activity he said he has enjoyed since he was a high school student. "But I said 'no' I wanted to do something exotic," Sanford said "... It's a great city."
... Sanford said he has taken adventure trips for years to unwind. He has visited such places as the coast of Turkey, the Greek Isles and South America. He was with friends sometimes and sometimes by himself.News conference in minutes.
Huh??? Are we talking with clothes or without!? Sanford says he doesn't know how this whole thing got blown out of proportion, and he seems to think it's perfectly normal for the chief executive of a state to exit the country without telling his staff, his wife, or frankly anyone, where he's going. Helloooo 2012!
Sanford press conference any minute.
Ane by the way, if you think the Sanford story has stopped getting weird, consider this: Sanford claims he was driving by himself along the Argentine coast. Okay, however:
Trying to drive along the coast could frustrate a weekend visitor to Argentina. In Buenos Aires, the Avenida Costanera is the only coastal road, and it's less than two miles long. Reaching coastal resorts to the south requires a drive of nearly four hours on an inland highway with views of endless cattle ranches. To the north is a river delta of islands reached only by boat.
A spokesman for Argentina's immigration agency wouldn't comment Wednesday on whether Sanford entered the country, citing privacy laws.
Hopefully at his presser, which we're still waiting on, he will explain why he told his staff he'd be hiking, why he didn't update them if he changed his mind and decided to leave the United States, and why he didn't place the lieutenant governor in charge during his absence. He might also explain how he proposed to drive this so-called coastal route, alone, with or without a map, and without any obvious way of being found should he get lost.
UPDATE: 2:26 - Sanford is talking now, and apologizing to his wife, kids and right now, his staff, saying he let them all down, and let down "people all across the state." He stressed the importance of "being a husband and father" and said that's job one (unlike job 2, which is driving aimlessly down the rambling coastline of Argentina, mostly off-road...)
2:28 - Sanford is now apologizing to his friend Tom Davis. And he's apologizing to his in-laws. (Wow, this is a lot of apologies!) His rambling apology to the in-laws includes strange references to past? internal struggles about "where my heart is." What??? Is this guy dumping his wife or what?
2:29 - Sanford just said "if you look at God's laws, they're designed to protect people from ourselves..." and that "the biggest self is self." Oh lord, is he gonna announce that he's gay?
2:30 - Oh, snap! Sanford just admitted that he's been cheating on his wife. Paraphrasing: "I've been unfaithful to my wife. I've developed a relationship with what started as a dear, dear friend, from Argentina ... it began very innocently as I suspect these things do, in just a casual email back and forth ... but here recently devleoped in this past year into something much more than that. As a consequence, I hurt her, I hurt you all. I hurt my boys. I hurt friends like Tom Davis. ... "
Wow. Wow. I just missed part of the presser because my cellphone rang. But Sanford is going to resign, but so far, only from the Republican Governor's Association, due to this affair. Wow.
Lindsey Graham: Sotomayor should apologize to white people
We have truly entered the Bizarro World of right wing politics. Senator Lindsey Graham, who represents South Carolina, the first state to secede from the Union, and a former bastion of slavery and Jim Crow, has now officially demanded that Sonia Sotomayor... an Hispanic woman ... apologize to all white men for making them feel bad.
Did you notice how nice, effusive and positive the elected Republicans were to Judge Sotomayor on the Sunday shows today? I think our children IS learning... Well, except for Mitch McConnell. I think he was just born mean...
More GOP crazy: Mark Kirkorian of the anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies says the way to Stop.That.Judge is to mispronounce her name ... on purpose!!! You know, just the way we won the Iraq war by calling that country "Eye-RAAAK" instead of "Ih-Rahk," the way the Eye-RAAAK-ees do.
Yeah. That'll teach her to be so damned ... Hispanic!
UPDATE: We can now look forward to the strongest, most decisive argument sure to be leveled against Sotomayor at her confirmation hearings: the "patitas de cerdo con garbanzo" (y much arroz) challenge:
Sotomayor also claimed: “For me, a very special part of my being Latina is the mucho platos de arroz, gandoles y pernir — rice, beans and pork — that I have eaten at countless family holidays and special events.”
This has prompted some Republicans to muse privately about whether Sotomayor is suggesting that distinctive Puerto Rican cuisine such as patitas de cerdo con garbanzo — pigs’ feet with chickpeas — would somehow, in some small way influence her verdicts from the bench.
He's young, he's handsome, and by God, he's Hispanic! And so, the righties, tired of being branded a bunch of old white guys, have latched on to Marco Rubio, who has officially replaced Jeb Bush's son George P. as The Future of the Republican Party:
Suddenly, to the conservative hardcore, the instant endorsements that Crist received from ranking Senate Republicans after his announcement earlier this month is outrageous not just because it suggests a willingness to bend party orthodoxy but because in doing so, the party kneecaps a young, dashing, eloquent personality with potential to add star power -- a quantity it needs desperately as younger demographics slip from its reach.
In a column in Human Events, a website for the "conservative underground," John Gizzi describes how Sen. John Cornyn, chair of the National Senatorial Campaign Committee, attended a luncheon last week "in which many national conservatives voiced anger over the NRSC's blessing of moderate Gov. Charlie Crist for the Senate in Florida." Gizzi himself put Cornyn on the defensive: "I asked Cornyn why his committee would make a move like that when Crist had a primary race against conservative former state House Speaker Marco Rubio."
And the right wing's Rubio embrace has apparently shaken Mr. Cornyn:
One of the most powerful GOP members on Capitol Hill, Cornyn has apparently been so unnerved by the backlash that followed his committee's endorsement of Crist that he has refused to answer more questions about it, especially as bloggers call for his resignation or at least for his withdrawal of that endorsement.
Double meanwhile, George P. fights back, not content to let Marco take his spot. He's also ripping Miss Charlie and dropping major hints that he wants to be Marco Rubio, too:
I want to obtain success in my own right. I want people to look at a record of accomplishment that I’ve put together in my own right and not based on family name,” Bush said. “I haven’t achieved my personal goals. Definitely down the road I’d love to reassess but as of right now it’s not for me.”