Minnesota Junkie

Listen to this 'Talk of the Natioin' topic

Last week, when I was in Denver, I had a chance to see Ken Rudin, The Political Junkie, in his element, out on the trail, editing scripts, wielding a microphone. Inside the Pepsi Center, he wrangled guests like a champion. At INVESCO Field at Mile High, he ate popcorn like a champion. And all of my peanuts!

I digress.

Ken will join us, as he does every week. There's a lot on the agenda: Tropical Depression — nee Hurricane — Gustav; speeches from President Bush, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN); the media circus surrounding Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — and her highly-anticipated address to the Republican National Convention tonight; trivia; and this little gem:

Whoops!

If you are a Democrat, what did you make of Lieberman's speech last night? He wanted to convince you. Did he? Republicans, has your party made its case? What do its leaders need to do?

Comments

 

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Joe Lieberman bored me as much at the RNC as he did at the DNC in 2000.

I find it hilarious to see all these politicians talking about how "party doesn't matter", I can only imagine what the party elders are muttering to themselves behind the scenes. I remember Obama's speech about how we are all Americans, but 15 minutes later Nancy Pelosi nervously closes the convention, saying 'Now lets go out there and elect Democrats!'

Sent by anonymous source | 2:26 PM | 9-3-2008

When Senator Lieberman speaks about country above party, he is speaking about Israel. Joe Lieberman received a marriage deferment from the Vietnam War, then subsequently divorced her. Now he is the most vocal proponent of sending America's young men and women to "wars of choice, not necessity. Lieberman does not have the moral authority to advocate for war since he refused to fight for America. The neocons want another 'dolt' in the White House so they can manipulate him to go to war with Iran and perhaps Russia.

Mr. Lieberman should take his feet where his heart is - Israel!

Chagrined

Sent by M.Delphia Block | 2:31 PM | 9-3-2008

That last caller from florida makes me so frustrated: though a Dem, she is going to vote for McCain because she doesn't like what the media has said about palin?!
Im sure she is a misguided disgruntled Hilary supporter. Hilary would NOT be proud of your stance.

Sent by stephen | 2:35 PM | 9-3-2008

Would you please ask Mr. Rudin to please explain his claim that Sarah Palin "took on Ted Stevens." According to the information that I've read, she was the head of his 527 political expenditure group. I don't care about her personal life, but her new stance as a reformer is laughable.

Sent by Eric Saunders | 2:37 PM | 9-3-2008

Bottom line is Sarah is NOT ready or capable to take over as president if needed because of her very limited and isolated experience. Also as a liberated women (democrat) I still think that she does have her hands way too full with her baby & kids. Vice-President is NOT a 9-5 job, as far as I've heard! President is definitely not 9-5.

Sent by Lisa Lynn | 2:38 PM | 9-3-2008

I wish people would not equate "talking heads" with Democrats as that caller did a minute ago. I am the mother of seven, a retired journalist, and I think the issue is: What VP candidate do you think will take over the most capably, without rattling more than half the populations of the U.S. The answer, of course, is Joe Biden.

Bear shooting, wolf shooting grammas are not the best choice for diplomatic responsibility. I'm a grandmother and a crack shot at targets, but it doesn't make me smarter. Palin scares me to death.

I also have a pet peeve for reporters: stop calling Lieberman a former Democrat. He's now a registered Independent and that's how he wants to be known -- and that's how I want him to be known. Thanks.

Sent by Ann | 2:38 PM | 9-3-2008

Here is what I don't understand. Why do people take opinions from the media and blame it on Obama. That's been the case to say that Hillary has been treated unfairly and now we're hearing about Gov. Palin being a mom and not fit for the VP position. Why do blame Obama for it?

Sent by Egzi | 2:38 PM | 9-3-2008

This is regarding the woman who just called from Florida, outraged that so-called talking heads were insinuating that a woman with five children shouldn't be running for high office. I am a staunch feminist who agrees that women should be able to run for whatever they choose...buy why would they choose a party whose right wing branch would PREFER to see women at home in aprons, and who put the kabosh on the ERA and many family-friendly programs? The hypocrisy is what burns me and your caller is falling for what is basically a political trick.

Sent by Susie O'Brien | 2:38 PM | 9-3-2008

With all due respect to Barbara from FL, is Obama now required to stump for the Republican VP candidate? On the ground, the local politicos are full of commentary, which I have avoided. Senator Lieberman did not sway me, I am voting for the democratic candidate, Senator Obama, who brings, vision and true leadership!

Sent by Jeff Nelsen | 2:38 PM | 9-3-2008

Enough already about the media attacking Sarah Palin. I have been listening to both TV and radio and have never heard any commentator ask about whether she can do the job because she has a large family.....the voters have said this but not the media. The Republicans in St. Paul have sainted Sarah at this point - let's get back to the issues - that gives us plenty to discuss.When the Republicans have nothing else to say they blame the media. And would someone please tell Joe Lieberman to stop saying he is a Democrat?

Sent by Gayle McMorrow | 2:40 PM | 9-3-2008

For many years, the Religious Right has claimed that teen pregnancy is a symptom of moral failure and bad parenting, and that it can be prevented by strict Christian values and abstinence-only sex education. How nice that they've finally seen the error of their ways. Yes, it can happen in any family. Let's hope when they say they support unwed mothers, that doesn't just mean nice, white, Christian girls with nice, white Christian mothers who just happen to be running for office on the Republican presidential ticket.

Sent by janet | 2:42 PM | 9-3-2008

This about convention coverage. I was listening a few minutes ago and have to go back to work. Ken Rudin mentioned the protests, but didn't mention that police arrested at least four journalists on Monday near the convention: Amy Goodman and two others from Democracy Now! and one AP photographer. What do you make of these attacks on journalists. If you haven't heard, video of Goodman's arrest is available on the internet.

Sent by Benjamin Israel | 2:43 PM | 9-3-2008

What appalls me about this Sarah Palin issue is the "family values" that the Republicans are always touting! What kind of "family values" is it that promotes a mother of five (one an infant with special needs!), as a candidate for national office? Certainly the VP job is 10 times as demanding as that of governor of Alaska! I heard someone from the Southern Baptist convention praising her, but he didn't say anything about the SB faith, which states that a woman's place is in the home with her children (and barefoot and pregnant, I presume)! They will not ordain women and apparently do not condone women working outside the home. Yet they LOVE Sara Palin! Go figure!

Sent by Carol Norris | 2:47 PM | 9-3-2008

Any working mother who thinks that right-wing social conservatives like Sarah Palin have her best interests at heart should have her head examine. Social conservatives - James Dobson, among others - have for decades blamed working mothers for every social ill, from badly-behaved children to rising crime. How can any working mother possibly ignore this long history of invective and blame, just because Sarah Palin is now the face of the right wing?

Sent by Michelle Miller | 2:47 PM | 9-3-2008

In response to the Florida caller's outrage about attacks on working women. I am a working mother who was surprised by Sarah Palin's decision to take on this huge responsibility so soon after the birth of a special needs child. I don't think it would have been such an issue except for the fact that one of her major qualifications is her strong support of "family values". I love that she is continuing her work as governor and her family is so supportive, but still question her judgment about her own family values in this instance. If she must uproot herself and her family to move to Washington DC it will be more difficult for her to take advantage of her support network. I certainly would like to see the focus taken off of her and her family and put back on to John McCain and his own judgment and policy proposals.

Sent by Lucy Joseph | 2:53 PM | 9-3-2008

I think Palin's daughter's pregnancy should be part of the discussion. Palin supports abstinence and does not want sex education taught in schools. She is the one who put her daughter front and center. This is not a private matter. We have to talk about her polices.

Sent by Kathy McGinnis | 2:55 PM | 9-3-2008

As a Democrat, I was insulted by what Lieberman had to say. He has a lot of gall to call himself a Democrat, if he no longer supports the party! The only reason why he said that was to make more of an impact, politically! As a Democrat, I also believe in "Country First"...because I believe in "PEOPLE First"! And for that reason, I say we desperately need Barack Obama in the White House, to give our country the relief and CHANGE it so desperately needs.
As far as McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate, it's a slap in the face of America, and an insult to women. We're smarter than he thinks, and will not be fooled!

Sent by Susan Crawford | 2:57 PM | 9-3-2008

If McCain is his "own man" why didn't he stick with his first choice as running mate, Joe Lieberman?

How on earth can any candidate demand to have their family left out of politics when they are invading their own privacy by parading their own family, and in Palin's case including the 17 yr old father to be in front of national (international) media?

Sent by SJ Sloan | 3:01 PM | 9-3-2008

Ken,
Once the circuses are over, the Pepsi, INVESCO, and other corporate tents are folded up, and the Press has had their fill of Sarah Palin's family situation (hey, I thought several candidates have already said this was "off limits"?), I'd like to know why you and NPR haven't covered what's been going on OUTSIDE the convention halls. On Monday, the Iraqi Veterans against the War, and Veterans for Peace, gave eloquent and very moving testimony of their own experience in Iraq, and the many reasons they are opposed to both the "surge" and to further US intervention. These veterans were bipartisan, disciplined, nonviolent, and sincere in their attempts to contact the delegates to the convention (they were refused), and to speak to the press (they were ignored, save by Pacifica's Democracy Now and PRI's "The World".)
Then yesterday, at least five members of the press (including Democracy Now and the New York Post) were assaulted, arrested, and charged with conspiracy and other felonies for simply trying to cover these, and other events, outside the convention hall. All of them had press badges, and clearly attempted to inform the police of this fact. All were acting professionally, with no provocation of the police. Over the weekend, a New York media program, which came to cover the convention was "preemptively" invaded, without warrant, by the police, handcuffed, searched, and later released. You may see all of this, and more, for yourself, on videotape, at DemocracyNow.org
I have heard NOTHING on either PBS or NPR concerning these issues.
Does democracy consist only of what you, yourself, admit as a political "circus", or does it mean common citizens petitioning their government for a redress of grievances, as our Constitution states? Does the freedom of the press, and protection of press personnel, apply only to mainstream media inside the "circus tent", or does it also apply to reporters--right, left, mainstream, or otherwise--who also choose to cover important events on the streets of Denver or Minneapolis? Although I appreciate your own, and NPR's attempt to be both "objective" and sometimes humorous about what passes for democracy these days, there are some things, like these, which are no laughing matter, and cry out for understanding by Americans of any and every political "stripe". I look forward to NPR's future coverage of such important concerns. Thank You.

Sent by Grant Bakewell, Jr. | 3:07 PM | 9-3-2008

Did the CNN analyst the same kind of questions of Obama. What did he do as a community organizer, over 7 years. What are his 3 accomplishments during that period.
How about the $1million loan from an indicted felon and the reduced interest rate he got.
I've never heard anything about these issues on NPR
Is this fair and ...(never mind)

Sent by joe dobrowolski | 3:17 PM | 9-3-2008

Just as the burden of proof has been on Obama to show he can lead this country, the burden of proof is on Palin to show she is in fact ready to lead this country should something happen to McCain.

Thus, Palin deserves no less scrutiny than a presidential candidate, no less than what has been given to Obama, Biden, and McCain over this very long and invasive campaign, starting in 2006. For them, the media coverage has not stopped since then. With Palin, the media is playing catch up, and so whatever can be grabbed of her "story" is getting squeezed into these last few days and is, as a result, busting out all over.

Sent by mt | 3:23 PM | 9-3-2008

In general I feel a politician's family should be off limits from the scrutiny of the press, but when there is an air of hypocrisy between what the politician preaches and what is found in there home then it is acceptable to scrutinize this disjunct.

When, for example, Bill O'Reilly will slam the mother of Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears but will give a pass to Sarah Palin then the press should explore why the conservatives are now forgiving this kind of behavior.

Sent by Carlos Mendoza | 3:26 PM | 9-3-2008

What is the thought process that goes into a politician's platform? That's what I want to know and that is why I appreciate Obama--he seems able, when asked, to give the rationale for how he arrives at his policies. Re: Palin, I am very curious now as to how she can be for abstinence-only birth control when her own REALITY would now point out some flaws to this. Similarly, if she is a "conservative feminist", which is more important to her, eg, to stay home and raise family (conservative) or be out in the work force (feminist). I also think REALISTICALLY that there are so many hours in a day--can one realistically do REALLY WELL at raising one two or five kids AND lead the country?

Sent by Brenda Dillane | 3:28 PM | 9-3-2008

As a mother of two teenage girls, I am disturbed by Sarah Palin's accepting the V P nomination. If one of my two girls was five months pregnant, I could never put her in the position of the media scrutiny that was CERTAIN to follow. We all know that fair or not, this is what the American media does. I think it shows a lack of sensitivity to a daughter that is probably suffering a fair amount of shame and apprehension. I realize things happen in a family, but if it were me...I'd choose my daughter over my career.

Sent by diane lee | 3:29 PM | 9-3-2008

The republicans made these issues (abortion rights, abstinence-only sex education, etc.) through attempts to have the government regulate women's private lives. How ironic that they are the ones squealing now that they have trapped themselves with a poor choice for VP.

Sent by William Stinnett | 3:32 PM | 9-3-2008

Listening to the woman calling from Florida fired up my "angry left" emotions. She stated that she has made up her mind to vote Mc Cain because a TV "talking head" implied Ms. Palin's motherhood was a handicap. This manipulation through polarizing issues in the media is a insult to the democratic process and a danger to the republic.

Sent by Greg | 3:34 PM | 9-3-2008

I have two big issues with Gov. Palin that I have not heard addressed. First, the GOP cannot stop saying, "Country above party", as they say they are most concerned with the good of the entire country. You cannot convince me that Gov. Palin is the best the GOP can do for the country as a VP candidate. I don't believe it and I don't believe they (the GOP) believe it. This is pure pandering. Second, her family circumstances ARE fair game for consideration. As a 47 year old mother, I must take issue with Gov. Palin's judgment when it comes first to her support of "abstinence only" sex education and second to accept this nomination knowing her daughter (and family) will be under an excruciating media microscope at an already extremely stressful time in her life. Regardless of my opinion of her lack of experience, I find her judgment lacking.

Sent by Erika Pracht | 3:35 PM | 9-3-2008

Why do people continue to refer to McCain as a maverick? Isn't the Palin pick the last in a long line of McCain cavings to the right wing of the Republican party. A maverick would have stuck with his choice of Joe Lieberman - not capitulated at the 11th hour for someone he and the country know nothing about.

Sent by Jim | 3:39 PM | 9-3-2008

Sarah is in no way qualified as V.P., and with her family in crisis mode, special needs baby, pregnant daughter still in H.S., she really should walk the conservative talk and be with her family. They questions Edwards about his run while his wife was ill, why can't we question Sarah while her family implodes! Also, I live in AK and the rumors about Trig being her daughter's have been around since last year, way before she was picked.

Sent by Lisa Boyles | 3:42 PM | 9-3-2008

Outrageous that the Republicans are pointing the finger at the media for asking all these questions about Sarah Palin,the media reflects the questions we all are asking 'who is this woman?' after all she may be our president one day so of course we want to know everything about her. I personally find it a little disturbing that she only has a bachelors degree.

Sent by Joanne Martin | 3:46 PM | 9-3-2008

As an Alaskan resident I am closely following Palin's media coverage. Generally, I feel that a candidate's family should not be the focus of media coverage but in the case of Palin's 17-yr-old pregnant daughter, I believe it is appropriate for discussion. Palin firmly supports an abstinence-only teaching approach in secondary schools. How can teaching abstinence be effective for teenagers from extremely diverse cultural and economic backgrounds when Palin cannot get the message across at home?

Sent by Mandy | 3:53 PM | 9-3-2008

As mayor Sarah Palin reportedly tried to fire the librarian for not banning books she wanted, and also reportedly fired another city employee for supporting her opposition in a campaign.

As governor, she allegedly fired a state employee for not firing her ex-brother-in-law.

As vice president, she will be one heartbeat of a 72 year old cancer survivor away from having the launch codes to our nuclear weapons. Given her judgment to date, do we want to give her the opportunity to fire those too?

Sent by W | 3:59 PM | 9-3-2008

why is okay for sara palin to tout her son's potential service in iraq, but her daughter is off-limits?

Sent by Jenny Ignaszewski | 4:34 PM | 9-3-2008

Where was Sara Palin when her daughter needed to hear about birth control and might have needed to talk with her mother about her sexual activity? Just because she has 5 kids does NOT make her a mother.

Sent by Jenny Ignaszewski | 4:36 PM | 9-3-2008

While opinions should not be made regarding Sara Palin's daughter, her family is very much in the spotlight since the Republican party chosen to make it so. While Palin, and the other republicans can support Right to Life and abstinence only, I wonder when they will figure out what to do on the otherside of the issue - who raises and supports these children when there is no funding/support available in our country in many instances. Palin herself cut funding in Alaska for unwed mothers. There go the Republicans again talking outside both sides of their mouth - hippocracy at it's best. Look where Bush's abstinence only programs in Africa have gotten Africa. Why can't the party ever own up to its misguided ways! McCain is already bristling regarding questions about Palin. I can only imagine his attitude/defensiveness if he becomes President!!

Sent by Mary Marian | 5:50 PM | 9-3-2008

A few comments if I may.
1. Family is "off the table" unless, it seems, you have a "compelling story" which is another way of talking about ones family. We have heard about Mr Biden's family, Mr Obama's family, and, as far as I am concerned, not enough about Mr McCain's family. But the point is, if we are being given these compelling stories, except where the media determines that the story is not compelling, why bother in the first place. Palin's daughter and her behaviour is compelling to me, and is telling about how that family works. and for a person who could be president sooner rather than later... sorry but it matters. For people like that woman in Florida to base her vote on the talking heads, who she dislikes, is evidence to me that these stories need to be told; but told responsibly.

2. Why are there zero reports about what is going on outside this GOP convention? People are being beaten, arrested, including reporters and photographers. Please give us the whole story!

3. Although I heartily encourage diversity in opinion on NPR, there should be limits. John Bolton??? His views are diverse, but they were wrong and have been proven wrong and to have been damaging to the US by many in and out of government for years now. He talks about the surge working when at the same time on the ground in Iraq hundreds of people are still dying monthly in walled off militarised areas. If daily murder, enforced genocide, and illegal military occupation of a sovereign nation equals success, then we have indeed succeeded. PS; Mr Bolton was "Ambassador" in the eyes of Mr Bush only, and was never designated as such by we the people, and therefore he is no ambassador of mine.

Sent by Patrick Lovell | 7:27 PM | 9-3-2008

I generally believe that people's private lives should be kept private. But when someone's private life reflects on their overall judgment, then I think it's fair game. The reason anyone paid any attention to the baby switch rumor was twofold: Her daughter looked pregnant in photographs and her behavior after her water broke (as she reported it) was so unbelievable that anything seemed possible. Here is a 44 year old woman carrying a baby with Down syndrome--the very definition of a high risk pregnancy-- whose water broke way early and she chooses to give a speech hours later and then fly from Texas to Alaska with a stopover in Seattle. This is extraordinarily reckless behavior and I do think it is pertinent to her judgment in other areas. If she is willing to put her infant at serious risk with her behavior why would I believe that she would act sanely in other areas?

Sent by Irene | 7:39 PM | 9-3-2008

If you listen to the Republican Convention, you will hear McCain's and the RNC's new strategy. Change and Reform are the thing to be. In choosing a relative unknown in Sarah Palin, McCain is trying to establish an image as a maverick or "change agent." Even at the expense of his arguement that traditionally gained "experience" is better than the experience involved running for President in the toughest primary battle in recent history. McCain's new cry that he is the "change" that we are looking for sounds like someone else I know.
Barack Obama.
Seems McCain's new strategy is to paint himself as everything that Obama has run on. Including; change, reform, cleaning Washington,and the environment to name a few.
It seems like John McCain is dancing a to step with Barack Obama. But Obama is leading McCain around the dance floor. McCain is willing to follow Obama's lead and judgement. SHOULDN'T WE?

Sent by Troy | 9:26 PM | 9-3-2008

Did Huckabee just start his anecdote about the school desks by calling the school by the awkwardly uncomfortable name of "Jokie Robinson"? If only the Dems would make something out of it.

Sent by Dom DeCaria | 9:42 PM | 9-3-2008

I am so disturbed by Rudy Guiliani's disparaging jokes of Barack Obama's public service. Their laughter reminded me of the cruelty I experienced in school by the bully poking fun at my nickname. Never during the DNC did Obama or any other speaker insult or reduce McCain's career to meer insignigicant pursuits, but rather each speaker applauded and showed respect for the Senator. In Guiliani's speech, he took the low road in jabbing at Obama's work with the people. Obvioiusly he does not understand what community service means to the person sacrificing their own prosperity to help others. Guiliani went on to suggest that steel workers' lives are not important. He doesn't understand that those steel workers represent most of the workforce in the united states, making "less than 5 million a year," as in McCain's words. Obama has never let himself stoop to the level of politics that Guiliani stooped to tonight, which is all lights, lies, fear, and mirrors.

Sent by Melissa Bickey | 10:35 PM | 9-3-2008

I do not understand how a people can ask if she can be both mother and the VP. A mother cannot be a mother in the traditional sense of the word. During the rise of working mother, mother have be allowed to dawn suited of fathers, but fathers have been criticized on becoming more female. In Palin 's family it is quite possible that Plain's husband is the "mother" of the household and she is the "father" of the household. If this is not true than her family or the country if she becomes VP or even president will suffer? But do not forget that a father can be just as good as a mother at home the question should not be weather Palin can be a good mother, but weather or not her husband can be a good homemaker. This is what feminist fight have been fighting for the sharing of house hold duties.

Sent by Ashley | 11:50 PM | 9-3-2008

thanks to grant blakewell for his call for coverage of events surrounding the grotesque gathering of GOP acolytes.

lieberman doesn't have an identity, thus the only crisis is who to pander to next...

and who will be jailed for beating the innocent protestors and reporters outside each convention of conventionality?

Sent by forestbloodgood | 12:11 AM | 9-4-2008

Upon listening to Sarah Palin at last night RNC, I was struck by how much she sounded like Loretta Young in the 1940's movie "The Farmer's Daughter". The theme is a small town girl takes on the big political machine.

I also was struck with how she set the stage for her performance as attack dog. Her "joke" about the difference between hockey moms and pit bulls...I guess it wasn't a joke.

The speech had the sincerity of a well staged performance. I still don't know who this woman is nor what qualifies her as the best candidate for Vice President of the United States.

Sent by Kathleen Carlisle | 5:12 AM | 9-4-2008

As a mother of three and one being 13 years old, and I am about to turn 31 this november, I can honestly say that I strongly support abstinence-only sex education. I can speak from experience. So my question to those that question parading her daughter that is pregnant, can you? She is just showing that she is only human. People need to understand, that we have a free will. Everyone is responsible for their own choices and actions. I need to ask all you who say, "about her ability to get the message across at home," was there ever a time when you were told over and over again not do something or to wait until u were an adult to do something; did you listen, or did you go out and try it? I have a daughter. I teach her that abstinence is the only way to go. I also understand that she has to make her own choices. I hope that maybe she will be able to learn from my mistake, however, if she does go out there and have sex and get pregnant. I will be there to support her, and I will not keep her out of the public for fear of riddicule or shame.

Those that question her ability to handle the office of VP or Presidency. I would have more faith in her, though I do not like the idea of a female President; then I do of Obama. I find his writings to be anti-American.

I personally find the election races to be daunting, because if anyone understands how the federal government is SUPPOSE to work, would know and understand that a Presidential candidate can not promise to do anything. I say this because there are a 100 Senators about 625 Congressman in Congress that make and dictate our laws. The only thing that a Presidential candidate can say is what they will sign and support and what they will not.

Sent by Dorothea Teasley | 11:27 AM | 9-4-2008

I'd like to thank Grant Bakewell, Jr. for his comment on 3:07 PM ET | 09-03-2008, about the lack of media coverage of the arrest of press pass carrying Amy Goodman and her crew while they tried to cover protests outside the Republican Convention. The fact that so many comments have to do with Sarah Palin's family, rather than the rights of journalists to gather information, suggests strongly that Media chooses the issues for public consideration. Quite frankly, the lack of coverage of this issue seems to be like Media "shooting itself in the foot!"

Sent by Peg Kennedy | 2:09 PM | 9-4-2008

Here is a question I had for Talk of the Nation on Monday:

What is more impotant to a President's decision making, philosophy or executive experience? Prsident Bush was a 2 term governor of Texas,far more experience than VP nominee Palin. His decisions are considered by most to have been terrible at best. What
Bush and Palin have in common is their political philosophy. I am not certain that executive experience is very important.

Sent by Carl Diehl | 3:22 PM | 9-8-2008