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America's answer to Thatcher?

Justin Webb | 16:03 UK time, Thursday, 4 September 2008

I wonder if the USA has found its Margaret Thatcher. Strident and self confident - immensely grating on those who do not like her, but immensely pleasing to those who do.

I still think Sarah Palin could disappear in a puff of smoke - but if she is strong, really strong this is what awaits.

The Thatcher likeness is striking to British commentators - and supporters of the Iron Lady see similarities in the treatment meted out to them...


  • 1. At 4:27pm on 04 Sep 2008, wanderingangus wrote:

    If your supposition turns out to be accurate, dear old John McCain is going to have a miserable time with his Vice President if he gets elected.

    But remember, grate though she might have done on many of us, Thatcher was surprisingly broadminded on some social issues.

    It was on economic issues that she was so inflexible and uncaring. We haven't heard a peep from Palin on economic issues so maybe the press had better start asking some pertinent questions.

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  • 2. At 4:32pm on 04 Sep 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    Even Thatcher wouldn't have shot the wolves or drowned the polar bears !

    Or maybe 'helicoptering' the penguins in the Falklands and supporting hunting amounts to the same thing...

    Still, I'm a meat-eater, so best not to get too sanctimonious...

    Justin - I really think you should try and get Ms Nadine Dorries on the blower for interview - this Sarah Palin must surely be confirming her view that she is the next 'Saviour of the Conservative Party' !!

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  • 3. At 4:34pm on 04 Sep 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    Justin for once we are on the same thought.

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  • 4. At 4:35pm on 04 Sep 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    Lets keep this darlek out of the game.

    EXTERMMMINATTE. them bears.
    exxxersterminate them caribuuuu.

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  • 5. At 4:38pm on 04 Sep 2008, ronaine wrote:

    I imagine Obama's campaign team are shifting bricks at the moment. They would have meticulously planned for most potential GOP strategy, but not the Alaskan Governor.

    I have been watching her speeches and imagining if this is the future of US politics, so the question is apt. Is Palin the Thatcher of the US? If McCain wins then I think yes, possibly. She seems a natural player.

    It makes me shudder to think that Obama may have been trumped here. I thought sense would at last prevail, if only by default, in the US. I heard a commentator recently describe the Palin family as similar to the American Soap series family, or the Simpsons. I think surrealism may end up prevailing over sense.

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  • 6. At 4:38pm on 04 Sep 2008, colplugwellington wrote:

    Maybe the message is similar but it's over-simplistic to dismiss Sarah Palin as another Margaret Thatcher. She appears to be less haughty, have a far better sense of humour and projects a sense of ordinariness that many voters like in politicians. Look back at the last few American Presidents like George W Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronnie Reagan and, whatever you might think of their politics, they all had a warmer public persona that connected better with the elctorate than their opponents.

    You can see the same difference between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

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  • 7. At 4:39pm on 04 Sep 2008, wanderingangus wrote:

    Also, if you set this hare running poor Obama has no chance because the Americans LOVED Thatcher who they did not have to put up with on a daily basis, but regarded as an icon (probably even more than Reagan at the time)

    I don't who put the idea into your mind about the treatment meted out to her. It was nothing like the treatment she meted out to others.

    What on earth will Andrew Sullivan think ?

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  • 8. At 4:55pm on 04 Sep 2008, AndyPlowright wrote:

    Oh come on Justin. One speech at a GOP shindig and you're making lazy comparisons that are similar in laziness to those comparing Obama's speech in Germany to JFK.

    Palin is a superb choice for VP but not one I believe done for the right reasons. However much McCain may tout her political and leadership abilities, there is a huge feeling that Palin was picked because of what she represents, a white middle-class American woman with strong religious beliefs, rather than her own abilities as a person. The aroma of tokenism is strong around her and that does her a disservice.

    Linking to articles written by Janet Daley is hilarious. Justin, please don't do it again. The woman's arguments are tenuous at best and gloriously vacuous at worst. The way she throws the 'elitist' word out at anything leaning on the left defies conventional human rational thought.

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  • 9. At 4:55pm on 04 Sep 2008, tiptoplisamich wrote:

    If being Thatcher-esque means being strong enough to take on the Washington DC establishment (both sides of the aisle) and put government back in the hands of the people (instead of the pockets of politicians) then Sarah Palin is exactly what is needed.

    Interesting to note that entrenched politicians in DC (both Democrat and Republican) are not exactly glowing in their praise of Palin (to me, too many Republican nods in Palin's direction looked forced). To me, this means she is a threat to the corruption, overspending, and self interests of Congressional politicians who have for far too long (again, both parties!) taken our hard earned tax dollars and basically, shamelessly, served themselves.

    This election goes far beyond the single issue debates of abortion or universal health care. Washington DC is corrupt to the core and must be tackled by someone who can hold CONGRESS (in charge of our money) accountable to the PEOPLE!

    We must hold our federal government officials' feet to the fire (so to speak), demand that our tax dollars are not (criminally) spent on bridges going nowhere, taxpayer funded vacations, and oil company subsidies.

    Until the US Congress' members start to feel the heat and anger of the US voting population and begin to represent the needs of the people who voted them to Washington in the first place, one issue voting agendas will continue to be moot points.

    If Obama can do this, go for it!
    Right now, Sarah Palin seems to be leading the charge as a Washington DC "outsider" and, yes, that will definitely bring out the critics---from both sides/parties.

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  • 10. At 4:56pm on 04 Sep 2008, danubeblue wrote:

    I don't think you'll find Sarah Palin quoting St. Francis... The sub-text in this choice is an insidious racism that goes back certainly to the Civil War and the Abolitionist movement but lies at the core of the institution of slavery in America.

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  • 11. At 4:59pm on 04 Sep 2008, moderate_observer wrote:

    i still have questions about the authenticity of this lady. until then i see her as a
    mere gimmick.

    she is the governor of alaska, and she just had a baby, 5 months old apparently. So why is it that there exists NO pictures of this woman pregnant, despite being in public life for the period of her alleged pregnancy!

    her scandals will unfold, its just a matter of when? (before elections or after elections if Mccain wins).

    If it unfolds after the election and Mccain is president, it will be seen as the largest election sham in history, credited to the GOP.

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  • 12. At 5:02pm on 04 Sep 2008, osymandius wrote:

    A distinction has to be made between Ms.Thatcher's rise to political power and that of Ms.Palin's. If my memory serves me, Ms. Thatcher established her place based on a succinct political theory and an almost ruthless exposition of political power. Ms Palin's rise has occured because a) a political stategist has determined that she will pick up a few votes and b) she spoke to a friendly audience. To make the comparision strains reality

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  • 13. At 5:04pm on 04 Sep 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    The question would imply that Margaret Thatcher had little or no experience of British politics before she became Prime Minister. She had sat as an MP, been a member of the Cabinet before later becoming Leader of the Opposition, leading her party's historic campaign which made her Prime Minister. In addition to having vastly more experience and education than Mrs Palin, she approved of abortion, which would set her well apart from the views of the vice-presidential candidate.

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  • 14. At 5:05pm on 04 Sep 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    Of all the ridiculous comparisons this must take the cake.

    Yes they are both female politicians,but that is as far as it goes.

    Mrs Thatcher was well educated and had a lot of parliamentary experience.

    La Palin has never fought a federal election in her life (and is not doing so now).

    Even those who despise Margaret Thatcher and her posionous legacy have to concede in terms of intellect and experience (and probably hard work) she is in another league to this neophyte

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  • 15. At 5:09pm on 04 Sep 2008, wanderingangus wrote:

    And I suppose it gives Joe Biden a genuine opportunity to say "Governor Palin, I knew Margaret Thatcher and you're no Margaret Thatcher."

    See, it does help to be around for 35 years.

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  • 16. At 5:11pm on 04 Sep 2008, felixdare wrote:

    Sorry, but I'm really struggling to make the "sexist" connection with the attacks on Sarah Palin over the past week. Why exactly is it sexist to point out that her executive experience to date might not be adequate in the context of a role which could require her to take over the world's most powerful job at a heartbeat's notice? And why, by the same token, is it not "racist" for her supporters to question Sen. Obama's qualifications for the presidency for much the same reasons?

    I agree it's clearly undesirable for so much attention to be focused so quickly on Sarah Palin's private life but this is no different from the treatment meeted out to every other candidate - witness Obama/Rev Wright, Edwards' affair, the unceasing attacks during Bill Clinton's presidency... the list goes on. Do Sarah Palin's supporters really expect her to get special treatment? Personally I fail to see what could be more patronising or sexist than that.

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  • 17. At 5:12pm on 04 Sep 2008, DougTexan wrote:

    Hello! What a honor the Brits have given her.

    And the likeness from those articles seems even deeper.

    p.s. Friends, thank you for your thoughts and prayers for my brother. He landed state side last night. Thanks again.

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  • 18. At 5:16pm on 04 Sep 2008, Chicoan wrote:

    I think many people here have missed the boat on Sara Palin.

    From what I've been able to determine, she is no stranger to power politics. She is not a mere hockey mom; she is an actual power in the Republican elite. McCain and she have served together in government capacities and she has a political presence that goes all the way back to her beauty-queen days in Alaska.

    Democrats need to understand that she is not a "desperate" choice. This was a brilliant pick because she is everything she is said not to be: intelligent, witty, connected and in control, yet she is being marketed as just another "mom", and so far we're falling for it.

    Shame on us.

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  • 19. At 5:16pm on 04 Sep 2008, Paul C wrote:

    Quite without Justin's prompting, my thoughts were ... Thatcher but with a semi-automatic rifle !

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  • 20. At 5:24pm on 04 Sep 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    did you hear the way she said " they grow our food, work in our factories,AND FIGHT OUR WARS"

    just like the boursois elitist she is
    and boy did she get excited about fighting.

    btw only one black face so far in the audience. I'll keep count,Though being BBC coverage they may be editing them out for you bs ers that think this is a multi cultural convention.

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  • 21. At 5:24pm on 04 Sep 2008, wanderingangus wrote:

    Now I see where this came from - Janet Daley in The Daily Telegraph.

    Janet Daley has been spouting uninformed nonsense about the American election for some tiime now and it would be sad if, through a ditsy thought which has just come into her head (after all, she hadn't even heard of Palin a week ago) she were to hand the election to the GOP after all this.

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  • 22. At 5:26pm on 04 Sep 2008, RealFrigid wrote:

    I'd say her 80% approval rating in Alaska is a hint of her abilities to be populist.

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  • 23. At 5:30pm on 04 Sep 2008, justcorbly wrote:

    The USA's answer to Thatcher?


    Thatcher was competent.

    British conservatism, whatever else it may or may not be, does not appear to have ideological and historic roots deep in the garden of bigotry, corporatism, religious extremism and deliberate know-nothingism that nourishes America's right wing.

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  • 24. At 5:32pm on 04 Sep 2008, Imma911 wrote:

    Americans loved Bill Clinton for his looks. Well, here is a former beauty queen for Americans.

    They love(d) Hillary Clinton for her resillience and passion. Here now is a greater than Hillary in passion and resillience.

    Americans love Obama for his youthfulness and minority background. Well, Pallin is young and a woman too.

    Obama chose his 'father' for an assistant. Maccain chose his 'daughter'.

    Make your choice, but I think the Republicans have the winning team once again.

    Pallin IS another Thatcher. And has to be. Men only accept women who behave like men. And women will bow only to women who behave like men.

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  • 25. At 5:44pm on 04 Sep 2008, Chicoan wrote:

    I have to agree with Imma911.

    The Republican party, as a whole, does not make stupid moves. It's one reason why they've stayed in power for so long.

    A friend of mine puts it succinctly: Democrats wish to govern. Republicans wish to rule.

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  • 26. At 5:47pm on 04 Sep 2008, Simon21 wrote:

    18. At 5:16pm on 04 Sep 2008, Chicoan wrote:
    I think many people here have missed the boat on Sara Palin.

    From what I've been able to determine, she is no stranger to power politics. She is not a mere hockey mom; she is an actual power in the Republican elite. McCain and she have served together in government capacities and she has a political presence that goes all the way back to her beauty-queen days in Alaska."

    Has she. In what government capacities exactly did she and john McCAin serve together?

    This is a revelation.

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  • 27. At 5:53pm on 04 Sep 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    17 doug glad to hear your bro made it back.
    give him a bowl from me.

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  • 28. At 5:56pm on 04 Sep 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 29. At 5:57pm on 04 Sep 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    And I will not underestimate her, just hate her.

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  • 30. At 5:58pm on 04 Sep 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    I would say Hillary Clinton reminds me more of Thatcher than does Palin. Palin doesn't remind me of any public official with national or world stature.

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  • 31. At 6:01pm on 04 Sep 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    keeping count of the bbc coverage I saw 3 people who were not white.
    Wow diversity in action.

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  • 32. At 6:11pm on 04 Sep 2008, CroKaran wrote:

    Remember Cicciolina -Italian porn star ending up being ELECTED , working in PARLIAMENT?
    The picture of
    Cicciolina in very pink ,very SMALL dress ,with her very bleached her , going to Parliament to WORK there);
    ;and last night`s -HOCKEY MOM :PIT BULL WITH LIPSTICK " joke -
    I couldn't`t help but to imagine A CARICATURE OF HOCKEY MOM -FEMALE PIT BULL mutant ,attempting to wear a lipstick,
    and more on the scary side -the mentality of such a mutant -wanting to rule America.Those two pictures are to me - very good examples of
    what kind a CIRCUS can happen in politics.

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  • 33. At 6:14pm on 04 Sep 2008, BillTyrone wrote:

    The Puff of Smoke syndrome will prevail.

    x2 weeks for the bloodhounds to unearth the facts, the truths and a number of things secreted away in deepest Alaska.

    This will be marked as one of the greatest gambles in US electoral history. The GOP has no where else to turn now apart from 2012 so they have to cheerlead and wax lyrical until the effects of this iceberg below the waterline dictates abandon ship - 1912 style.

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  • 34. At 6:15pm on 04 Sep 2008, moderate_observer wrote:

    if the republicans are good at one thing its winning an election. they win then they go back to ignoring and ridiculing the people who voted for them (like they did the evangelicals) because they know that come election time they can transform into
    whatever is necessary to win votes. its good to have a base that is willing to ignore your job performance as long as you can crack a smile a few jokes and u have the same religion.

    its quite funny how they win elections without even pretending to care about issues that affect everyday lives like jobs , healthcare or the economy as a while.

    its even funnier how they have struck this fear of liberals into the veins of voters and blame them for the problems in washington, when the fact is the conservatives have controlled the house for 14 of the last 16 years, and the white house for the past 8 years(20 of the last 28 years as well).

    its just a testament that the way to win elections is not to promise good leadership but to demonize the other side. democrats should take note, that this is the only way they can win in american politics. they give the average voter too much credit and its to their own detriment!

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  • 35. At 6:15pm on 04 Sep 2008, Brachioradialis wrote:

    No need to count Jack, there are 36 black delegates at the convention apparently

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  • 36. At 6:19pm on 04 Sep 2008, SaintDominick wrote:

    Comparing Gov. Palin to PM Thatcher has got to be one of the biggest distortions of reality I have read in this blog. Whether you agree with Thatcher's policies or not the fact is that she was well educated, experienced in both national and international politics, and a person whose personal attributes and vision were well known before she became PM. That is certainly not the case with Sarah Palin.

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  • 37. At 6:20pm on 04 Sep 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    She may have appeal, she may be pretty, but she is still a right-wing evangelical. Religion has place in the White House. No way!

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  • 38. At 6:22pm on 04 Sep 2008, markingtime wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 39. At 6:23pm on 04 Sep 2008, enigmafrica wrote:

    me thinks justin webb reports the american coventions in a very biased way.

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  • 40. At 6:36pm on 04 Sep 2008, Chicoan wrote:

    #26 Simon21

    It is my understanding that John McCain became personally involved in the investigation of the corruption of the Alaskan legislature by the federal government in 2006, and that is when he first came across Sara Palin, so I will concede it was a poor choice of words to say that they served together.

    I wish I could find my original source for this, because the information is old and I cannot find current references to it. Perhaps someone can start digging into it. A good place to begin would be her dealings with the Trans Canada Power Company.

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  • 41. At 6:51pm on 04 Sep 2008, Cyril_Croydon wrote:

    Thatcher never played the sexism card and never accused the media of bias. Palin has yet to give a press conference or an interview. All she has done is give one speech (that was written for her) and appear on glossy women's magazines showing off her kids.

    The GOP cannot hide her from probing questions forever and it's the media's job not to be afraid to ask them.

    Megan McArdle on the difficulties the Dems will have fighting another "culture war".

    Probably best to just ignore her and keep talking about the issues like the economy, healthcare and foreign affairs. Joe Biden gave a good response today.

    Amazing bias from Matt "Wonder woman" Drudge. Perhaps he's fallen for the GOP elitist trap. It's all very depressing and I can see Karl Rove laughing his head off again.

    The Dems need to unleash Hillary now, if she is willing.

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  • 42. At 7:06pm on 04 Sep 2008, proles wrote:

    Wow, if 'iron lady' - or to be more politically correct about it, 'iron womyn' - Sarah is not just "strong" but "really strong", she too can be a YouTube star! That's even better than being VP isn't it? "Strident and"...well just strident really, just like Maggie, a true female vampire ready to wage class war on the dreaded proles. Ah dear, where is Arthur Scargill when you need him? And when strident - really strident! - Sarah is done cleaning up the whiney riff raff in America's workplaces, she can turn her attention overseas and wage real war on the unwashed masses in the neo-colionies. Ahmadinejad as Gorbachev??? Sarah is about to morph from sweet, little 'soccer mom' to scourge of the underclass! Now that's liberation for you!

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  • 43. At 7:08pm on 04 Sep 2008, SamTyler1969 wrote:


    I couldn't agree with you less. Other than having a double X chromosone she has nothing in common with Maggie.

    - Maggie read chemistry at Oxford
    - Maggie was a trained Barrister
    - Maggies kids went to boarding school
    - Maggie had a rich husband who was an experienced businessman who was happy to play golf for Britain
    - Maggie had 9 years of experience as a secretary of state and Leader of the Opposition before being elected PM
    - Maggie came with a progressive agenda at a time when the country needed change
    - Maggie was pro womens rights (perhaps not quite feminist)

    They do have a few things in common:

    - They are both religious and Christian
    - Their kids have caused them both embarassment, although the Palin kids are going to have to work hard to beat Marks attempts to topple the government of Equatorial Guinea
    - They both raised regressive taxes

    Maggie has dementia. Jury is out on whether Sarah does.

    Serious Sam

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  • 44. At 7:09pm on 04 Sep 2008, goleooo wrote:

    wow...Justin has lost his mind completely...HOw can you compare Palin to Thatcher I have no clue... Justin, please, we appreciate you writing on BBC but with power comes responsibility and you clearly jumped over the line this time...

    She is married with 5 kids if you are having a crush on her...and no she is not even worth tying Thatcher's shoes.

    Clinton yes...on the other hand.
    But please for the sake of us all, don't write such themes again

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  • 45. At 7:15pm on 04 Sep 2008, gordonmutch wrote:

    You must be joking!

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  • 46. At 7:20pm on 04 Sep 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    i think I was struck for saying that thatcher and palin have one thing in common other than their sex.
    Lipstick wearing pitbulls.

    Now I prefer a lurcher or a staffy, but americans love rabid baby killers.
    strange that she would compare herself to an animal banned in the UK for being a baby killer.

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  • 47. At 7:21pm on 04 Sep 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    It's a Girl Fight!
    Smart moves, I reckon.

    Salaam, etc.

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  • 48. At 7:23pm on 04 Sep 2008, Anna-liza wrote:

    I'm British by birth, lived through the Thatcher years in England, and I agree with Justin - Palin is a young, marginally more likeable, more attractive version of Thatcher, personality-wise, as presented last night.

    Obviously, as someone commented above, Thatcher was better known and brought more relevant experience when she came to power, but that doesn't negate the similarity in personality and political outlook.

    If McCain wins this election, and you ahappen to be someone with even one a left-wing bone in your body - be very afraid! ;-)

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  • 49. At 7:23pm on 04 Sep 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    35 Stronginthearm.

    thank you. I was looking real hard but pne guy came up twice (and he was hiding under a baseball cap and behind a banner. proud republican?).

    So there we have it none f those Real american comments could have been feeding the racists at all.
    No racists there, just people that don't happen to like black people.

    Or people the Black people do not like.
    Hardly unifying.

    Republicans are fascists

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  • 50. At 7:23pm on 04 Sep 2008, omnibeobachter wrote:

    the comparison is an insult to ms. thatcher.

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  • 51. At 7:24pm on 04 Sep 2008, jacksforge wrote:

    41 no one thought thatcher was a woman.

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  • 52. At 7:30pm on 04 Sep 2008, MinnesotaGuy wrote:

    Palin needs to tone down the sarcasm meter if her and McCain want to win the election. Her party has been in control of the White House for 8 years. Not a lot of good has happened in that time. I don't see how sarcasm is going to help on the campaign trail while the economy is down, prices are up, and the other party is trying to ride a wave of American boosterism and regrowth into the White House.

    That approach will only be effective to her party's base. I was amazed at how many examples of 'inside jokes' were included in her speech. I know everyone who spends the kind of time that we do here following the election understood the references to 'foam greek columns,' but how many others did? Would the average person, the person that flips between coverage of speeches and sporting events have heard about the mini-brouhaha surrounding that? I'm not sure they would have. They would have heard that line and then seen the republican audience howl with laughter. I don't think that's effective when it's contrasted with the hope-filled (as much as I don't want to use the h-word) democratic convention.

    I may be wrong, but I'm looking forward to seeing the post-convention polls to see how people respond.

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  • 53. At 7:33pm on 04 Sep 2008, Xie_Ming wrote:

    I now see the contest as a measure of the American people and the future of America.

    The candidates are merely surrogates for the judgement of the voters.

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  • 54. At 7:39pm on 04 Sep 2008, worldwideryan wrote:

    Republican complain could-be president is too inexperienced. Democrats complain could-be VP is too inexperienced. Republicans complain Democrats riding only on hype. Democrats jibe when Republicans make hype. Republicans say Democrats are disconnected with what the American people want. Democrats say Republicans are disconnected with what US people need to have.

    Both are hypocritical which is fine ...if the media would just report the meat and not spit out cud and bile (of whichever variety - red, blue or green).

    Whatever happened to just the facts in reporting? (This section is called "The Reporters" on the title bar) Every area of news has been hijacked by this celebrity speculation/conspiracy/spin way of reporting the news.

    If this is just a blog Justin, write your name in blue so unknowing visitors know you're putting what kind of spin on things.

    The Left think America can be changed by calling everything red blood. Conservatism is bad. Giving all babies a chance is bad but repaying those who have killed is not right. Cutting taxes will reduce what the government - oh, no! - and we can't reduce our governments powers (oh wait, I thought Left didn't like Bush's too much power) because people can't manage themselves.

    Frankly, non-US people usually don't understand our system (we don't have just the federal government!) and don't understand our roots.

    To explain, I live in a city but come from rural life. Cities think they got culture, but really all they got is events. Hearing Jamaicans at reggae festival is not culture, it you wishing you were their culture. The real "culture" of the city is pathetic and self-centered.

    In the rural, people live to live rather than live to be. They think about things city people wouldn't care about (like morality) and value things city people don't.

    Rural America may be ridiculed for its beliefs but a least it can enjoy knowing what it wants whereas Cosmopolitans never find what they are looking for, just one more pie in the sky.

    On subject (sorry about the maze of thought, tired), Americans will probably take the Thatcher comment as good, but I doubt that's your audience nor was that a complement.

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  • 55. At 8:07pm on 04 Sep 2008, wheresthe24gone wrote:

    See what McCain really thinks of the VP's job:

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  • 56. At 8:16pm on 04 Sep 2008, mslickUSA wrote:

    One major difference between Thatcher and Palin is that Thatcher was educated and highly intelligent. Palin is a beauty pageant winner and community college grad. Intelligent she is not.

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  • 57. At 8:37pm on 04 Sep 2008, robzaba wrote:


    If Palin had been in Thatcher's shoes what would she have done...?

    1) Rescue the Falklands, and then obliterate Argentina for good measure.

    2) Close all the mines, and then turn them into Socialist/Liberal hunting arenas.

    3) Proclaim: This Lady's not for turning a blind eye on a wounded moose.

    Thatcher, for all that she was despised for, had a clear agenda, no-one knows what Palin's is, for the US or for the world. Very scary.

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  • 58. At 8:43pm on 04 Sep 2008, mullerman wrote:

    She 'may' be the vice President, Thatcher was not the Deputy Prime Minister now was she! Post #56 Thatcher was academic, that is different than intelligent!

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  • 59. At 8:43pm on 04 Sep 2008, RayTee wrote:

    I'm staggered that people can glean all these opinions, and that Justin can come up with a specious comparison between Thatcher and Palin, on the basis of a single stage-managed speech that was written by professionals.

    As Bush has proven, growling at other nations is a total waste of time and just angers them, let's take Putin as an example. I've had enough of this ten-gallon-hat shoot-from-the-hip Republican nonsense.

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  • 60. At 8:44pm on 04 Sep 2008, Young-Mr-Grace wrote:

    DougTeaxn - glad to hear that your brother is home safe and sound.

    You're all doing very well !!

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  • 61. At 8:47pm on 04 Sep 2008, Young-Mr-Grace wrote:

    Will be intersting if Palin makes it to the white house.

    I'm looking forward to seeing Air Force One on e-bay. Michael O'Leary will probably out bid me but I'll have a go....

    You're all doing very well !!

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  • 62. At 8:50pm on 04 Sep 2008, RealFrigid wrote:

    56 , mslickUSA:

    University of Idaho founded in 1889, with over 10,000 students, is not a community college.

    One reason why Idaho might have been attractive to Ms. Palin was that her parents lived there, and it is an attractive University for people without the means to go to Harvard and Columbia.

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  • 63. At 8:51pm on 04 Sep 2008, Young-Mr-Grace wrote:

    Palin as the US Thatcher, maybe, but why is she stuck with the US Iain Duncan Smith?

    You're all doing very well !!

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  • 64. At 8:51pm on 04 Sep 2008, newbriton wrote:

    For those of you outside the USA, understand that Palin's selection is purely a ploitical one. Her qualifcations for the job (or lack of them) are superceded by her expected appeal to women and the religious right, constituencies MCain needs in order to win. Despite McCain's current claims his ambition is to be President of the United States, not because of high political ideals or a desire to improve the lot of the American people but purely for personal achievement. He thinks a gun toting (life time member of the NRA), creationist will help him do that. Palin's personal life should not be used for political gain, but to balance responsibilities to a family of five with those she would owe to the country as a VP is unrealistic and because of that her own and the Republican's Party's claims to family values are at best hypocritical. The USA seems bent on creating a society where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, where funding for public education is a luxury not a necessity, where there is no responsibility for those who can to support those who can't. Palin is just the latest to be recruited to the cause for personal aggrandizement at the expense of people they are meant to serve.

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  • 65. At 8:54pm on 04 Sep 2008, RealFrigid wrote:

    #56, mslickUSA:

    What is your measure for intelligence?

    Do you find that being in a beauty pageant would disqualify a candidate from holding a public office?

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  • 66. At 8:58pm on 04 Sep 2008, xpat73 wrote:

    Whatever you thought of Thatcher's politics, she was an extremely bright and capable person who rose from humble beginnings and graduated from Cambridge University, one of the finest University's in the world.

    To compare Palin to here is absolutely laughable. She has a communications degree from the University of Idaho!

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  • 67. At 9:00pm on 04 Sep 2008, RealFrigid wrote:

    #42, proles:

    I see it rather as, Sarah Palin, Barbarian Princess of the North.

    I wonder if Joe Biden ever took down a moose?

    You want change?

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  • 68. At 9:02pm on 04 Sep 2008, GaudenceMushi wrote:

    America's answer to Thatcher? ha ha ha!!
    Wow! Look Justin, I am not a great fan of Thatcher neither did I agree with her foreign policies. But I fully acknowledge her competence and unquestionable broadmindedness. Her credentials on the international stage, however controversial, are solid and genuinely admirerable. For me, the difference between her and Palin is as distinct as the difference between darkness and light.

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  • 69. At 9:08pm on 04 Sep 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Young-Mr-Grace (#61), clever idea! However, a bit of trivia for our friends abroad: The airplane ( of which there are two) is identified as "Air Force One" only when actually carrying the President. "Air Force Two" if carrying the Vice President.

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  • 70. At 9:10pm on 04 Sep 2008, A Hoser wrote:

    As a person that probably knows Sarah Palin better than all of you, I can tell you she is a strong woman. I've had the pleasure of meeting her on several occasions she has a lot of character. She is very determined, however, comparing her to Thatcher is a bit of a stretch. She isn't the VP yet, but her resume is impressive. The shear fact that she's the first woman governor speaks a lot. Alaska has never voted for a female governor before, and it was looking like they never will until Palin came along to break that barrier. Truly remarkable. Her rise has become meteoric. In a sense she is a bit like Thatcher in the sense that she rose from such humble beginnings, but she's not the finished product yet.

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  • 71. At 9:23pm on 04 Sep 2008, dmsuiter wrote:

    Oh dear...I am so worried about these two being in office. I'm from the States and I've seen enough to be more than a little nervous at the prospect of Palin being one heartbeat away from the presidency. As if McCain weren't trouble enough...

    Honestly, I liked Thatcher (granted, from the other side of the Atlantic). She certainly knew what she was doing and was worldly and intelligent. Palin is a self-admitted "hockey mom" whose only experience in foreign relations is governing a state that is (A) bordered by Canada; and (B) is somewhat close to Russia. She'll be a very small fish in a VERY big pond on the international stage. I really think that McCain chose her because she's ultraconservative and a woman. How patronizing.

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  • 72. At 9:33pm on 04 Sep 2008, justcorbly wrote:

    #70 (Hoser):

    Everything you say about Palin may be true, but for me it makes no difference: Her politics are wrong.

    I'd rather vote for a scoundrel who agrees with me than a saint who does not. (Not that Palin is a saint...)

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  • 73. At 9:33pm on 04 Sep 2008, bethpa wrote:

    Its a close election:

    but right now it looks like Obama is winning by 3

    Thatcher was a tough lady but also sophisticated about how the world works.

    She was a realist and trained in chemistry. Her educational backround was in science.

    "The Russians are bent on world dominance, and they are rapidly acquiring the means to become the most powerful imperial nation the world has seen. The men in the Soviet Politburo do not have to worry about the ebb and flow of public opinion. They put guns before butter, while we put just about everything before guns."

    (Thatcher quote)

    (And Imo it was the emphasis upon guns rather than butter that caused the Soviet Union to collapse.)

    Sarah Palin is tough but not as well schooled. She isn't America's Margaret Thatcher.

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  • 74. At 9:36pm on 04 Sep 2008, newbriton wrote:

    #66, xpat73

    I could not agree more with your observation. What you perhaps do not appreciate is that there is historically a very low voter turn out in the USA (apathy?). Those who do vote demonstrate their level of education and intelligence by their willingness to believe the latest media sound bites (20% believe Obama is a Muslim). The fact that McCain actually has any support after the Republican policies of the last eight years is a matter of constant amazement to me. Our hope lays with the youth of this country, who together with others I depend on to rescue us from the mire Bush and his cronies has enmeshed us in.

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  • 75. At 9:38pm on 04 Sep 2008, robzaba wrote:

    Anyone have any figures about just how many US people actually change alliance - apart from the elections themselves?

    Are the US people really more interested in their party, or personalities, over policies which directly affect them?

    If I were an American, in any aprt of the States, which a mortgage, bills to pay, a company in trouble, I would be asking questions about who is going to help, and not just who says they are going to help, but how...

    Newly built stages, nice hair-dos, glossy speeches (written by almost strangers) wouldn't do it for me - from either party.

    We have party conferences here too, but the people there, listening, are not clapping just because someone stands up and declares they are the better party, they are listening to detail, to detail supported by past record or fresh ideas.

    The Reps have bad bad record on the economy, mainly due to Shrub, (failed businesses litter his record), yet it became President twice...

    Anyone in the US thinking about this?

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  • 76. At 9:49pm on 04 Sep 2008, KaziRahman wrote:

    Yes, she is a tough lady in the presidential race of United States. She symbolizes common simple families of the country. And in the same time she have a true vision on the future of it like Margaret.

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  • 77. At 9:53pm on 04 Sep 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    DT, glad your bro made it back!

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  • 78. At 9:54pm on 04 Sep 2008, wanderingangus wrote:

    Can we move on from Palin as Thatcher ?

    The consensus is that the idea is preposterous - whatever our feelings about Mrs. T - and we deserve a more fruitful area of discussion.

    Onward to John McCain's speech, please Justin

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  • 79. At 10:02pm on 04 Sep 2008, justcorbly wrote:

    #73 (bethpa):

    Remember that polls measuring who people say they will vote for do not necessarily reflect the outcome of this election. The vote that counts is the Electoral College vote. Both Obama and McCain are doing private polling on a state-by-state basis, which is the only way to predict the results of a presidential election.

    #75 (robaza):

    Conventional wisdom here says we are divided into three groups of roughly comparable size: Democrats, Republicans, and independents. When we register to vote, we indicate if we have a party preference. That's the only way to measure party membership. There are no memebership cards, no party dues, etc.

    Conventions, since both the TV age began and primaries became popular -- both at about the same time -- each party's candidate has been selected by the primary and caucus process. Conventions have become huge PR shows, and will continue as such as long as the TV folks give each one 4 days of free air time.

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  • 80. At 10:05pm on 04 Sep 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #75, robzaba, I believe that the research would
    show at this point that most Americans either
    register as independents, or register as belonging
    to a particular party just so they can vote in
    the primary.

    I don't believe that many voters are happy with
    either party, so the folks that you see at these
    political conventions are essentially the fringe,
    whether they realize it or not.

    Of committed voters, most of them are in
    favor of a particular candidate, but not a
    party as a whole.

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  • 81. At 10:10pm on 04 Sep 2008, bethpa wrote:

    # 75 rob
    Your guess is as good as anyone's. Obama is ahead now and Palin has not helped McCain yet in the polls as far as I can tell

    My son is canvassing for Obama in the Philadelphis area and he asked someone who had voted for Clinton, "Who is closer to Clinton's policies..Obama or McCain"..and the man said, " McCain" and said he would vote for McCain... go figure.

    This voter imo was voting for a white man over a black man. All kinds of hidden values and prejudices are coming into play in this election.

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  • 82. At 10:11pm on 04 Sep 2008, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 75

    "Newly built stages, nice hair-dos, glossy speeches (written by almost strangers) wouldn't do it for me - from either party".

    I don't know how many Americans switch party affiliations, but the number may be fairly large this time around and it affects both the Republican and Democratic party. A lot of us are disheartened by the partisanship and the lack of pragmatism that both parties demonstrate.
    Bear in mind that voters registered as Democrats can cast their vote for Republican candidates, and vice versa, in the general election. In fact, President Reagan owes his first victory, in large part, to the so-called Reagan Democrats that crossed party lines.
    My two best friends are Republican fiscal conservatives. Both are horrified with what has happened the past 8 years. One is now an Independent and plans to vote for Obama because of his economic proposals, the other plans to vote for McCain because of his position on abortion and gay marriage.
    Unfortunately for us, many voters place more emphasis on social issues - and trivialities - than on the issues that matter most. I talked to a neighbor this morning, a democrat, who was undecided until last night. He made up his mind after listening to Gov. Palin last night because she looked feisty and willing to take on the media!

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  • 83. At 10:12pm on 04 Sep 2008, AnonymousCalifornian wrote:

    a) There seems to be a common 'cultural' trait among many liberals, especially on this blog. Chiefly, the way they look down their noses at those with opposing viewpoints while summarily dismissing what those people have to say--or type. They don't give credit where and when credit is due, for instance. The way they've positioned their worldviews and how they react to other opinions is bad for them. If you automatically poo-poo all and sundry to disagree with you, while not listening and contemplating their opinions because you are so sure and smugly confident that you've in the right, if you views happen to be flawed, you won't find that out because of your refusal to hear what others on the opposite side have to say. Not only is that behavior immature and rude, but also reduces the chance of your seeing the 'real picture.' Have a look for yourself on this blog; read from the Obama/Clinton struggle for their nomination up to the most recent post. You'll see a disparity--overall--between those posters who would be deemed liberal or conservative in the way they respond to people of other political/social/economic persuasions. MESSAGE TO LIBERALS: Don't be stuck up, and actually try to listen to what others have to say. The fact is, many conservatives feel that liberals are stupid, gullible, ignorant, idiotic poopyheads, too, but they are at least willing to hear them out cordially enough, ruminate on what they had to say before dismissing it, and then break out into bouts of laughter.

    Case in point: "The woman's [Janet Daley's] arguments are tenuous at best and gloriously vacuous at worst. The way she throws the 'elitist' word out at anything leaning on the left defies conventional human rational thought." (Sure seems 'elitist' to this reader--along with exhibiting the typical liberal penchant for unnecessarily lofty verbiage in an attempt to garner respect.... ;-D humility, it's a virtue--try it sometime).

    b) There are far too few non-'whites' at the convention. Take into account that Republican economic stances are often at odds with those of many 'blacks' and Latinos, the two largest 'minority' groups. And that the current Democrat Presidential candidate is a 'black' man, which hasn't happened before. The Republicans do have to work a lot harder to win over more non-'whites', though.

    However, at least on the PBS coverage, there were several 'blacks' and a few other 'minorities' in the audience (a few Latinos, and some Asian-descendants--one waving American and South Vietnamese flags [guessing he wished the United States didn't have a rapid and sudden withdrawal from his country of origin....]). At least two of the speakers so far have been 'black', and at least one Latino. Additionally, Bridget McCain and the girl who showed up on stage with her adoptive father are of South Asian descent.

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  • 84. At 10:13pm on 04 Sep 2008, robzaba wrote:

    Hi Kazi


    "She symbolizes common simple families of the country."

    ... er... and what about Leader of the Nation, Commander-in-Chief?

    Very scary!

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  • 85. At 10:14pm on 04 Sep 2008, invisibleserendipity wrote:

    #73, Beth

    Actually, it is not that close.

    Yesterday, Iowa and Minnesota were slotted into the Obama column bringing his total of Definites and Leanings to 243 electoral votes and it is reported that he is narrowing the gap in the battlegrounds. McCain is at 189. Obama is leading by 54 electoral votes, which are, of course, the only votes that count. The total number needed is 270, meaning there is a balance of 106.

    The problem for Obama is in the remaining states. How can he win them and which states can be picked off? Florida and Michigan are two of those states. Will the drama of the primaries carry over into the general? What about Nevada and Colorado? Two very Western states and, more than likely, McCain and Palin territory. Virginia is a possibility. He is a strong contender there. Obama needs to make a grab for states already in the red column.

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  • 86. At 10:22pm on 04 Sep 2008, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 62

    "it is an attractive University for people without the means to go to Harvard and Columbia"

    I agree that for most of us, Ivy League universities are unaffordable (I have two grandsons attending State colleges in Florida), but the other reason why not everyone can attend Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia and other prestigious Ivy League universities is because they don't meet their high academic admission requirements.
    Obviously, rules are sometimes bent a bit when Daddy has the right connections...

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  • 87. At 10:25pm on 04 Sep 2008, debisis wrote:

    I watched one of Thatchers video [video owned by NinthWave] about not wanting to subsribe to the Euro.

    As an American not used to seeing many female leaders in higly powerful roles, she showed a lot of moxy and insight...something not so easy to obtain.
    But I can't really say the same with Palin, at least so far. Palin is articulate enough, and she has moxy, but I can't compare her to Thatcher since Thatcher seemed better able to control her emotions and keep her maturity in check. I don't agree with Palin's views on religion and abortion right i.e., but I do appreciate her standing up for herself.

    By the way, can you guys/gals understand my English...because I sort of have hard time understanding yours. Just saying. Please don't take it too personally.


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  • 88. At 10:26pm on 04 Sep 2008, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 85

    "Florida and Michigan are two of those states"

    I live in Florida, and judging by the number of McCain bumper stickers on cars and the absence of Obama stickers I would say things look challenging for the democrats. I realize this is a very unscientific evaluation, but I place more trust on what I see and hear than what the media and professional pollsters say.

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  • 89. At 10:28pm on 04 Sep 2008, Rolf McHarris wrote:

    Palin may not be the star some think her to be...

    Environment, what environment.


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  • 90. At 10:29pm on 04 Sep 2008, alanskillcole wrote:


    spot on...
    Justin's just pulling our leg/taking the mickey/having a laugh comparing a formidable former Secretary of State and PM with this...LOL....

    best for of attack is? (future) Prez Palin knows...
    Reductio ad absurdum...President Palin (eventually) "Back to the Future" about a Presdent couldn't make this up...
    hic...made my evening after a hard day's the footie n forget the world of "bomb bomb bomb" ...Failsafe/Dr. Strangelove....don't worry about global warming/red shift/whatever, these lot will sort us out before then...

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  • 91. At 10:30pm on 04 Sep 2008, bethpa wrote:

    #79 justcorbly

    Iif you had gone to the link you would have seen it was an electoral college map of the US

    Barack Obama 273 John McCain 265

    (And I am a registered Democrat.)

    there are many views here though:

    for anyone trying to understand the crazy political drama going on in the US

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  • 92. At 10:36pm on 04 Sep 2008, Cyril_Croydon wrote:

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Brilliant clip from the Daily Show. Can't really add much more. It speaks for itself.

    Call me an "elitist snob", but I find it very depressing that a person who believes the Earth was created 6,000 years ago and opposes abortion even in the case of rape and incest, has a good chance of becoming the most powerful person in the world.

    America's image in the world is already at a very low point thanks to George W Bush. If McCain/Palin win in November, the perception around the world will be reinforced that America is being consumed by backward looking hatemongers and fundamentalists.

    I know many Americans don't care what anyone thinks of them and many think they are better than anyone else, but in a globalised world with interdependent economies, it does matter what other people think of you.

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  • 93. At 10:37pm on 04 Sep 2008, justcorbly wrote:


    Thinking about it, your questions get to perhaps the biggest difference that results from the contrast between parliamentary government in the UK and the division of powers shaped by the Constitution.

    Many Americans vote for a politician who is, as the conservative say, "one of us." That means they want to be confident that their leaders and their representatives share their basic assumptions about how the world works, i.e., their world view.

    Knowing that a person "is one of us" means voters don't need to bother with things like issues and a politician's record. If they are accepted as "one of us", then they are trusted to make the right decisions, as wacky as that is.

    This is how you explain the failure of the GOP convention to deal with issues in a serious manner. This is how you explain the GOP's insistence that it is the party of fiscal restraint, protection of the Constitution, etc., despite all the evidence to the contrary.

    In the UK, this does not happen because people cannot vote directly for prime minister. UK voters vote for their MP. No doubt, many variables motivate that choice, but I really doubt that most Britons have any expectation that their MP is "one of them."

    Having lived, quite happily, in the UK for a few years, I'm inclined to prefer its system, warts and all.

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  • 94. At 10:39pm on 04 Sep 2008, bethpa wrote:

    #85 invisibleserendipity

    You should definitely look at this link,

    ..and you can click on the states and look at the poll results for each state over time with various polls.

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  • 95. At 10:42pm on 04 Sep 2008, invisibleserendipity wrote:

    #88, Dominick

    My sense is that McCain will win Florida, and what you are witnessing is the reality. There are many conservatives in the state naturally. And, I can't help but think the broo-ha-ha over Floriday during the democratic primary is not helping either.

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  • 96. At 10:44pm on 04 Sep 2008, bethpa wrote:

    #88 DominickVila

    You may be right...McCain will probably take Florida

    will give you the poll results in Florida and McCain is leading there...but its close

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  • 97. At 10:45pm on 04 Sep 2008, invisibleserendipity wrote:

    #91, Beth

    It is interesting how they are predicting the battlegrounds - hopefully it is true. If it is then we will have a President Obama on November 5th.

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  • 98. At 10:47pm on 04 Sep 2008, Metrapolitanshire wrote:

    Justin: please explain how you came about your role as a member of the democratic propaganda machine (or point me in the direction of a blog where you already did this)?

    I am not saying this because I am declaring myself a Republican, I'm just really concerned about whether this is the future direction of the BBC.

    Does this mean that in the next UK general election all you 'journalists' (spin doctors?) are going to pick sides - no prizes for guessing which side - and give them unrelentingly positive coverage whilst trashing the opposition?

    Any reply would be received with great interest.

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  • 99. At 10:53pm on 04 Sep 2008, justcorbly wrote:

    #91 (bethpa):

    Sorry, I stand corrected. This blog doesn't seem to activate links in comments.

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  • 100. At 11:12pm on 04 Sep 2008, sirspunkmeister wrote:

    Good god, I hope you're wrong!

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  • 101. At 11:14pm on 04 Sep 2008, Arthur Putey wrote:

    Sarah Palin, you sure as heck ain't no Margaret Thatcher.

    For many reasons, I'm no great fan of Thatcher. But I suspect she achieved one truly great thing: making it possible for Gorbachev to save the world from the real possibility of a nuclear catastrophe unleashed by Ronald "The Rapture" Reagan.

    Unlike religious fundamentalists Reagan, Dubya and Palin, Thatcher was a hard-headed realist who took heed of unpleasant facts and could draw the logical conclusions. Faith-based policies were definitely not her cup of tea.

    My hypothesis (and I'm sure it's not original) is that Thatcher clearly understood the dangers inherent in Reagan's extremist beliefs. And, having stared into the abyss, I'm guessing that she set out to use her unique influence to persuade Reagan to go at least some way in following Gorbachev's lead in relation to nuclear disarmament. We should never forget that Gorbachev made deep UNILATERAL cuts to the USSR's nuclear arsenal, and I think he's the single most important figure of the 20th century. Without the courage and leadership of Gorbachev, and the "honest broker" efforts of Thatcher, I doubt that I'd now be around to offer these thoughts.

    But had Thatcher been a religious fundamentalist who subscribed to fearful fantasies such as "The Rapture" too...

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  • 102. At 11:16pm on 04 Sep 2008, newbriton wrote:

    #83, Anonymous Californian

    It will come as no surprise I am sure that your allegation that "Liberals" are more inclined to dismiss the opinions of those who don't agree with them is exactly the way I think of Republicans. Only this morning one self proclaimed conservative lauded the Palin choice partly because she is a life-time member of the NRA. In view of the high rate of crime in the USA that involves guns I find this attitude inane and those who adopt it nothing more than cretins. I will not tolerate such opinion and will exercise all of my persuasive power to alter it. The policies of the current Republican administration have done immeasurable harm to this country, both home and abroad. This alone precludes any tolerance for those who wish to continue them through a McCain/Palin administration.

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  • 103. At 11:19pm on 04 Sep 2008, 18-24washdc wrote:

    It is an insult to Margaret Thatcher to compare her to this relatively uneducated, uninformed, ignorant woman who, about a year prior to her nomination, claimed not to understand what it was that a vice president does. More frighteningly, Palin recently described the war in Iraq as America's god given crusade. What happened to a seperation of church and state?McCain is the oldest first term nominee in American history; god forbid he wins and can't make it through four years.

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  • 104. At 11:22pm on 04 Sep 2008, sirspunkmeister wrote:

    Thank you #88, Domick. I see now why McCain's handlers would choosen this woman as their VP; to win one or two states already disenfranchised. With any luck the Republicans will loose both states, but if they take the whitehouse again at least maybe they'll put this woman someplace where she can't do any harm.

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  • 105. At 11:24pm on 04 Sep 2008, voxclamantisinsonoma wrote:

    The comparison of Palin to Thatcher overlooks the relative lack of position of the Vice-President. Palin will not enjoy the same power, nor have much ability to influence policy. The comparison is irrelevant.

    Palin's purpose, beyond gender, is to maintain the "good 'ole boy" image established by George Bush. The importance of this is magnified by atacks on Obama's "elitist" Harvard education. McCain is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, one of the most difficult institutions of higher education to which one might gain admission. It, along wth the other service academies, are the seminaries for the military elite.

    Palin's speech last night did not demonstrate to me any significant command of the issues involvedin this election. It fightens me no end to think that she could be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

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  • 106. At 11:27pm on 04 Sep 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    86, Dominick.

    Although admission to an Ivy League school requires a high level of acadamic achievement, it is not grades alone that get you in since there are many more qualified applicants than places.

    These schools are looking for an extra something (and I don't mean a dozen extra-curricular activities). You have to figure out what that is.

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  • 107. At 11:32pm on 04 Sep 2008, newbriton wrote:

    98, Metrapolitanshire

    Remember this is a blog. Having lived most of my life in the UK and now a resident of California I can tell you I am horrified at the standard of news reporting, both on local and network channels. The only news program I find credible is BBC America and the only news radio I listen to is NPR. BBC reporting is just that, a report, no analysis or comment intended to color my view. However the suggestion that any talking head paid to juggle with words would have an impact on my own view I find insulting, although I agree I may be unique, as most of the electorate in this country seems too easily swayed by the most unimportant detail proffered by a neatly coiffed TV presenter.

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  • 108. At 11:54pm on 04 Sep 2008, boiselass wrote:

    As a white, English speaking woman in Idaho, I can say that many people I know are voting for the party. At University, many are saying "no more conservatism, no more Republicans." those of us who are viewing the people and not the party, seem to be leaning away from Republican. It's going to be a close race I do believe.
    Mrs. Palin represents what many Americans are and believe in. What a bloody SMART move on McCain's part! I was seriously impressed.
    What's really scary for me is that NEITHER candidate or their running mates posess a true clear picture of what the hell Americans want any more.
    Whoever makes it will have to prove themselves.
    As for me, I'm doing what most are doing: reviewing both parties opinions on issues we feel are key. The issues that keep coming up are the same old, same old. Wish they'd wake up and SEE the real issues!

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  • 109. At 11:55pm on 04 Sep 2008, anthonyinhove wrote:

    Justin, one similarity between Thatcher and Palin is that they both came along with a very plain-speaking style and with certainty in their beliefs, at a time when the sitting government was weak and generally seen to have failed to take the country in the right direction.

    The difference between their proposals for reform is that Thatcher at least came from a party other than that in power and had a political philosophy quite different to that which had failed. Attractive though Palin's personality and beliefs may be to the Republican base, it is her own party that has got the USA into a mess and those who are responsible for the mess have exactly the same political philosophy as she and McCain do.

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  • 110. At 11:56pm on 04 Sep 2008, pinkfootedwoman wrote:

    I think Jon Snow summed it up best on his visit to Palin's home town when he said it was like Twin Peaks.

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  • 111. At 11:57pm on 04 Sep 2008, Candace9839 wrote:

    The thought of which may have helped the Obama campaign raise $8M after her speech.
    Handbags flew open

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  • 112. At 00:11am on 05 Sep 2008, bk9061 wrote:

    I am a religious nut, I loves guns, believe that modern science is deluding itself when it preaches evolution and global warming and all of its supporters including, Sir Isaac Newton, Darwin, Einstien, Marie Currie, Galilio, even Plato have a liberal agenda and are sexist.
    So this leads me to conclude that Mccain and Palin are perfct choice to having their fingers on that red button. USA! USA! USA!

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  • 113. At 00:12am on 05 Sep 2008, AmericanfromNW wrote:

    I'm trying to understand. Is the Californian insulting UK liberals? I find the BBC dialogs interesting especially since they are generally of diverse views.

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  • 114. At 00:25am on 05 Sep 2008, bk9061 wrote:

    Also when i mention sexist that does not mean that i think the womans place is not at home.
    I also believe the world outside america is a dangerous place, and that means if we are to fight terrorists, be should degrade our own laws in fighting them and believe we should not loose wars at any cost, no matter how many lives are lost, and that tally also includes lower to middle class american. Yeah lets get into a fight with the russians!!!

    Vote Mccain/palin

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  • 115. At 00:33am on 05 Sep 2008, bk9061 wrote:

    Since the time God created us 6000 years ago, we have been full of sin, unbelievers will go to hell,i am covinced Palin will save countless American souls.

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  • 116. At 00:40am on 05 Sep 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    #105.voxclamantisinsonoma: "The comparison of Palin to Thatcher overlooks the relative lack of position of the Vice-President. Palin will not enjoy the same power . . . " But given John McCain's age and medical history, she may well do so, in spades. That's what scares - and offends - may people.

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  • 117. At 00:45am on 05 Sep 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    BethPa & all,

    For interesting data analysis, try this

    Corbly, Sorry,

    "This blog doesn't seem to activate links in comments."
    Doesn't it?


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  • 118. At 00:48am on 05 Sep 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Not again. Not another one of BBC's screwball analogies. America as Rome, Palin as Thatcher. No not at all. You don't have a clue.

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  • 119. At 00:53am on 05 Sep 2008, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 115

    "i am covinced Palin will save countless American souls".

    I have no doubt that she, and her mentor, will also champion many crusades, including surges, throughout the Middle East to rid the sacred sites of troublesome infidels and pave the way for the Second Coming. Deadlines will not be needed considering the 100 year scope of the mission.

    As a Democrat, it hurts to admit this, but I love the hats the Republican delegates wear at their conventions.

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  • 120. At 01:02am on 05 Sep 2008, justcorbly wrote:

    #117 (ed iglehart):

    They weren't activated in Beth's posts.

    But, then, that's not what prompted that remark, is it?

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  • 121. At 01:03am on 05 Sep 2008, mrsvooj wrote:

    What american would vote for a "pit bull dog wearing lipstick?" Not I!

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  • 122. At 01:06am on 05 Sep 2008, SanYing wrote:

    Palin is America's
    Where has Justin Webb's mind gone?

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  • 123. At 01:11am on 05 Sep 2008, mrsvooj wrote:

    It is frustrating to live in a 2-party system, when the platforms are at odds with each other........a polarizing and difficult decision in some ways.....but either one is better than Bush..

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  • 124. At 01:11am on 05 Sep 2008, babawaya wrote:

    Well, Justin has the right to air his opinion and we can blog on in support or make our case against. It defeats me why some people cannot stand a descending opinion. That is why many dictators in the world fight and kill opposition members.

    Back to my point. It is not fair to compare Palin with Thatcher. The truth is Thatcher worked for every accomplishment she got. Palin on the other hand has been hand picked to glory by McCain. If it was not for McCain we would never have known her. Why Palin? It was an easy pick for McCain. He needed a VP pick that would accomplish two things: fire up the republican base and lure disgruntled Hillary's supporters and to accomplish this he gave an easy home work to his aides; to go through the list of all 50 governors and come up with a woman and the most conservative one, and that spells out Palin. Elementary kid with internet access could have easily pulled it off.

    After watching how fired-up democrats were in their convention McCain had to do something to fire-up the republicans. Prior to Palin, Republican core constituency was cold on McCain for obvious reasons; they remembered John McCain of 2004 who could not see eye-to-eye with George Bush on their core issues. I can make a case that the current excitement will soon cool off once another obvious reality hits them - Palin is not running for Presidency. She is just a VP nominee.

    It was a gamble and a big one. Soon the poll will show that very few or none of Hillary supporters were moved. Reason being the only thing Sarah Palin and Hillary have in common is gender. In almost every other aspect they are as far as East is to West. So in conclusion Sarah Palin ignited the republicans who would have either way voted for McCain in joy or sorrow.

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  • 125. At 01:12am on 05 Sep 2008, justcorbly wrote:

    For what it's worth, Georgian GOP Congressman today used the classic racist slur "uppity" to describe the Obama's.

    It wasn't misheard. Asked to confirm what he aid, he used the slur a second time.

    The GOP will do nothing about this. But they will whine because people are Googling Palin and asking questions.

    If these people represent you, then you are swine.

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  • 126. At 01:15am on 05 Sep 2008, bethpa wrote:

    #99 justcorbly

    I apologize for being crabby and lazy...if I had paid attention to Ed I would be using html and you could just click on the links.

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  • 127. At 02:05am on 05 Sep 2008, gtfc2007 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 128. At 02:18am on 05 Sep 2008, shrift wrote:

    Hey Californian- wots all this talk of fancy verbiage? is it really true that you don't know Mary Poppins?

    "when stone age men were chatting merely grunting would suffice."
    I'm not sure how many sylly-bubbles there are in ugh and ugggghh do you know?
    Should we grunt when we want to show we're gun-totin'?
    As in "ugh, town ain't big enough for the both of us ugh, I'm so glad I can shoot you as my right to bare my arms is done bin writ ugh in the paper of the founding fathers."

    Cos like they knew we'd develop into a nation so big that if government got out of hand a handful of irregulars with muskets could put the government right. Right!?
    What fantasy is it that the gun nutters inhabit?

    Joking aside- I think McCain knew he was a goner and so he picked a mouthy fighter who can deliver a some good lines of attack. The only problem is that their lot have been in power for so long and are so up to the wazoo in the failure that it just comes across as flippant- ooh sorry too much verbs- I mean she seems silly.

    Is that verbiage adequately trimmed for ya?

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  • 129. At 02:20am on 05 Sep 2008, fardated wrote:

    I'm sorry Justin, but I am losing respect for you fast and you're showing your stripes. Comparing Palin to Thatcher is like comparing a pussy cat to a lion. Palin will get crushed by Biden. Doesn't mean Obama will win though.

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  • 130. At 02:24am on 05 Sep 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Rove being balanced


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  • 131. At 02:25am on 05 Sep 2008, SamTyler1969 wrote:


    I have to take you to task. Bush is an easily manipulated individual being played by Cheney et al, a wiley right winger with other wiley right wingers who are mostly predictable. Who didn't see Iraq coming when they were elected? I recall sitting there in 2000 as the votes came in and saying 'There is going to be a war in Iraq'.

    McCain is a very old man with health issues who has a hair trigger temper and would trust us to allow Palin to take over if he falls ill. While I dislike Cheney, I don't think he would do anything totally idiotic. Mean, uncharitable, self centered, yes. But idiotic, no.

    Palin. I get scared.

    Worried Sam.

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  • 132. At 02:33am on 05 Sep 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    No. ;-)

    Links tutorial


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  • 133. At 02:34am on 05 Sep 2008, SamTyler1969 wrote:


    Thanks Ed,

    Thats some serious statistical analysis!


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  • 134. At 02:36am on 05 Sep 2008, shrift wrote:

    mrsvooj- you've reminded me of Dick Cheney at the last election delivering that telling cuss about senator John Kerry and his attempt at shootin'and fishin' which was in the negative about lipstick on anything with four legs or what he really said was along the lines of
    -we have a sayin' where I come from-ugh-
    "you can put lipstick on a pig,
    but it's still a pig." -ugh

    I do hope some of those commies on the radio start repeating the lipstick on the pig thing just to rile 'em up. I mean it's got four legs, and anyway what strange things are all these republicans doing out in the woods putting lipstick on four legged animals?
    Is this a social conservative thing?

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  • 135. At 02:37am on 05 Sep 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    I've now watched and listened. Palin delivered the speech almost competently, but it never sounded like her words, and it was mostly rubbish attempts at sound bytes, many of which were downright fallacies.

    Too bad, and embarrassing to those of us ex-pats who still care.

    In sadness,

    Deadlines are approaching for Voter Registration...make sure you are registered and pass this around to friends and family:


    IF YOU ARE LIVING ABROAD and need to register:

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  • 136. At 02:38am on 05 Sep 2008, shrift wrote:

    hurry up mister moderator
    I'm falling aslee.......

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  • 137. At 02:41am on 05 Sep 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Toy Story - the plastic doll speaks


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  • 138. At 02:43am on 05 Sep 2008, SamTyler1969 wrote:


    Who cares? It isn't being counted as a key swing state this time and frankly if they elect McCain Palin then Floridians will be the owners of the 27th spit in the Union, population 3 dogs and a coconut tree by 2020.

    Drowning Sam.

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  • 139. At 02:47am on 05 Sep 2008, bethpa wrote:

    #131 Sam

    If Palin believes in the rapture that is frightening.. she will welcome the end times

    I wonder if some reporter will have the courage to ask Palin how her religious beliefs will influence her decisions politically and ask her about the end times.

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  • 140. At 02:59am on 05 Sep 2008, babawaya wrote:

    McCain's campaign has been making strategic errors day after day.

    Whoever scheduled their convention ( the reublicans did ) was not smart. McCain's coupled the error by scheduling him to speak the same night NFL starts off their season. I wonder how many people will watch McCain's speech.

    Some of these faults might be minor but not neglible. They say a lot about them. What makes us believe they would run the country any better?

    I don't think I want to take a chance.

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  • 141. At 03:01am on 05 Sep 2008, justcorbly wrote:

    #126 (bethpa):

    No need for apologies, Beth.

    Here's a link to another polling site with different numbers:

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  • 142. At 03:03am on 05 Sep 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:

    The amiable response of Barack Obama and Joe Biden to the shrill and strident attacks of the Republicans is just another example that these Democrats are not willing to be drawn into politics as usual. Obama and Biden have been focusing on the issues. This is something that the Republican dinosaurs just do not seem to understand. It really IS all about the economy, the war, energy policy, environment, foreign relations, national debt etc.

    It is a new century! We can keep on the same old track or try a more enlightened approach to our current problems. I can not wait to here what the 'Fossil' has to add to 'Ms Fuel' when McCain speaks tonight.

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  • 143. At 03:06am on 05 Sep 2008, bethpa wrote:

    Why the media should apologize

    “No matter how cynical I get, it’s just never enough to keep up.” Lilly Tomlin quote

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  • 144. At 03:09am on 05 Sep 2008, OldSouth wrote:

    Much too early to say, but hope springs eternal.

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  • 145. At 03:11am on 05 Sep 2008, justcorbly wrote:

    #139 (bethpa):

    The greater danger, of course, is that Palin believes it to be her religious duty to expedite these "end times," presumably nuclear war in the Middle East.

    I think that's a valid concern about any politician who holds such beliefs.

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  • 146. At 03:17am on 05 Sep 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    I don't believe it!

    The Green Screen is back!

    Will they ever learn?

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  • 147. At 03:18am on 05 Sep 2008, A Hoser wrote:

    I don't agree with her politics either. She says the jury is still out on global warming but all she has to do is visit the glacier that is less than 15 miles from the Governor's mansion in Juneau. But she's hardly in Juneau anyways, so I guess to her, it's "if I don't see it, it isn't happening."

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  • 148. At 03:19am on 05 Sep 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:


    I am so on board with this!

    I am especially encouraging my Latino neighbors and friends to register and vote because they have been so badly profiled and targeted by our current mean-spirited leaders. Many of these very good people have been here more than 100 years before my own parents immigrated but have never been accepted as citizens.

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  • 149. At 03:26am on 05 Sep 2008, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    When McCain expresses concern about people struggling to make do why do these guys chant 'U S A U S A'.

    I don't get it. Is struggling to eat the American way?

    Sick Sam

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  • 150. At 03:30am on 05 Sep 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:



    What can you expect when the 'Fossil' has to follow 'Ms Fuel.' He probably is bilious!

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  • 151. At 03:43am on 05 Sep 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:

    Why can not either of these two Republican wannabes deliver a speech without sounding sarcastic?

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  • 152. At 03:55am on 05 Sep 2008, SamTyler1969 wrote:


    Because, in business speak, he is 'Reading the slides'.

    This is awful, I coach college kids who deliver better than this.

    Oh God, Vietnam again.

    Disappointed Sam

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  • 153. At 04:00am on 05 Sep 2008, xpat73 wrote:

    Well the U.S. Naval Academy is very hard to get into, as a previous poster mentioned.

    But it's not as hard when your father and grandfather were both four star admirals in the United States Navy.

    His class rank of 894 out of 899 probably indicates that he was underserving of admission, and simply got in because his family pulled some strings.

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  • 154. At 04:00am on 05 Sep 2008, ksv123 wrote:

    That is kind of inapt comparision. I guess Thatcher was not just catapulted into national limelight just in a "day". She was an MP before she became a PM.

    Second, Thatcher brought in a level of dignity and sophistication (that hardcode republicans would call - elitist)
    to governance.

    Lastly - she always acted with class and had no scandals before contesting for MP.

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  • 155. At 04:13am on 05 Sep 2008, Republicangarbage wrote:

    Please, Sarah Palin is no Margaret Thatcher. Sarah Palin spews the same garbage and deception that we have had for the last eight years. I would hope that since some Americans seem to be so delusion, that the Brits do not fall in line with this. The entire world should be frightened to have these people in office.

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  • 156. At 04:15am on 05 Sep 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    115, bk.

    I have news for you. I don't want Palin to save my soul, or you either, for that matter. You should both stick to your knitting (or creationism, whatever).

    I am curious, though as to where you got such a colossal ego.

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  • 157. At 04:18am on 05 Sep 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    121, Mrs.

    And what American would vote for a soccer mom, or any kind of sports mom? I pulled my daugher out of competitive swimming. The mothers were animals.

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  • 158. At 04:19am on 05 Sep 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:


    I do not understand your post. Would you please explain?

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  • 159. At 04:30am on 05 Sep 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    131, Sam.

    I see this as McCain failing. He was always temperamental, but now he seems to be worse. And then there was the strange thing he said about her, "We are soul mates. I love her." That was creepy, given the circumstances. He wasn't exactly choosing a lover, or did his hormones think he was?

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  • 160. At 04:43am on 05 Sep 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    158, Aqua.

    Unfortunately I understand Sam's post (152). Why are you scaring me, Sam?

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  • 161. At 04:48am on 05 Sep 2008, bethpa wrote:


    bk9061 is making on the name to see the posts

    Its telling that the humor is hard to tell from actual views.

    but this must be a joke?:

    "I am a religious nut, I loves guns, believe that modern science is deluding itself when it preaches evolution and global warming and all of its supporters including, Sir Isaac Newton, Darwin, Einstien, Marie Currie, Galilio, even Plato have a liberal agenda and are sexist.
    So this leads me to conclude that Mccain and Palin are perfct choice to having their fingers on that red button. USA! USA! USA!"

    Its got to be joke ? right? right?

    Please tell me its a joke?

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  • 162. At 05:30am on 05 Sep 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:


    You and Samtyler1969 are both beginning to scare me. I know my brain is odd and old but I have been thinking that if McCain was president, with a grip on Alaska, he could have a staging point for an invasion of Russia. Please tell me that I am completely ready for the gaga farm.

    This is for MsMarbles and Samtyler. I know most of the rest of you think I am old and crazy.

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  • 163. At 05:44am on 05 Sep 2008, Grrrlie wrote:

    Sarah Palin? No, I prefer Michael Palin - and I'm waiting for him to appear and do a bit - preferably in costume as a elderly lady in an odd hat - describing Sarah Palin as coming from a discredited and reviled branch of the Palin family.... I surely need a laugh after hearing Sarah Palin spew vomitous vitriol all over decent community-organizing volunteers and well-educated people, etc., ad infinitum. She is a Dark Ages demagogue spreading witch-hunts, pain and death by that by further demonizing pitbulls [with or without lipstick], aerial gunning-down wolves, wiping out polar bears and caribou - or joining in the 'Crusade' to "bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb Iran." May a super-scandal please take her away and soon!!

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  • 164. At 05:57am on 05 Sep 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    163, Grrr.

    There already was a super scandal and that went away and soon! Maybe another super scandal would go away and soon.

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  • 165. At 06:06am on 05 Sep 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    162. Aqua.

    If McCain and his sidekick get in it helps to be crazy. Don't knock it.

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  • 166. At 06:07am on 05 Sep 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    161. Bethpa.

    Maybe bk9061 is staphylococccus aureus in religious mode.

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  • 167. At 06:12am on 05 Sep 2008, Grrrlie wrote:

    #164: the "scandals" so far re: Sarah Palin are insufficient: it's the norm to have a pregnant teenage daughter in the USA now, especially when access to birth control and/or abortion services is not allowed for the teenager daughter in question. As to "Troopergate," too many folks dislike highway troopers to really care much; and the related ethics hearing will be packed by Sarah Palin's appointees last I heard. No - the scandal I would be hoping for would have to be shocking in the extreme, to a USA audience. "Cross fingers" at anything that shows up this Beauty-Queen-from-Hell for the hypocritical "bleep" that she truly is!

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  • 168. At 09:59am on 05 Sep 2008, RealFrigid wrote:

    "...all over decent community-organizing volunteers..."

    Try googling "ACORN voter fraud"...

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  • 169. At 10:10am on 05 Sep 2008, MagicKirin wrote:

    To compare the two is ridicoulous.

    Thatcher is one of the two great PM's of the last century.

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  • 170. At 10:12am on 05 Sep 2008, stewkablooie wrote:

    Is bk9061 for real? Hope not.....
    As for Palin - time will tell who she is indeed like, whether it be Margaret Thatcher or Teri Hatcher!

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  • 171. At 10:23am on 05 Sep 2008, RealFrigid wrote:

    #107, newbriton :

    I couldn't agree more. On every other channel , every time they break away from live coverage its to Democratic pundits and talking heads that spin things negatively. Sometimes they will have a Republican speak, as long as that person is an opponent of McCain.

    PBS and the BBC are journalists. They ask leading questions, but at least they don't offer their own opinions.

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  • 172. At 1:32pm on 05 Sep 2008, justcorbly wrote:

    #168 (realfrigid):

    If you're lookng for scandal that actually involved a candidate, Google "Keating Five".

    If the GOP is so interested in integrity, why doesn't it talk abouot that?

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  • 173. At 2:44pm on 05 Sep 2008, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    Marby, Arizona,

    I don't think you are any crazier than John Boy. But he does worry me . . . .

    Frightened Sam

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  • 174. At 3:29pm on 05 Sep 2008, stewkablooie wrote:

    Just to be clear, I remember the Margaret Thatcher era and she did some things at a certain time in history that were crucial to Britain (breaking of the unions, de-nationalisation, Falklands war, her part in the demise of the Soviet Union, etc) that were all were based on a historical understanding/retrospective viewpoint of geopolitics - she was well educated and well advised - I put her in the "Churchill bracket" - right or wrong.
    Palin (or anyone else who rises to the esteemed heights of American politics) does through "acceptance" by a range of lobbyist groups and concerned "entities" be it, “Party Contributors” or religiously and racially (and media) motivated citizens – a well spoken and presented person who says other peoples words has absolutely no substance or resonance. I’m sad for America and the “free” world. Where are we going….?

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  • 175. At 11:22pm on 05 Sep 2008, Anna-liza wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 176. At 03:25am on 06 Sep 2008, JPPeterson wrote:

    Sarah Palin was on Public Radio here in the US this afternoon (Thursday Sept. 5). Recordings of her speaking in several pentacostal churches were included. She sees the current situation in Iraq and Afganistan as a holy war. She swayed my vote. I made my first contribution to Barack Obama.

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  • 177. At 06:53am on 06 Sep 2008, pigspeak wrote:

    Margaret Thatcher?

    Do you remember Spiro Agnew? Sarah Palin is is Spiro Agnew, Jerry Fallwell and Satan all-in-one, wrapped in a female body.

    Mere mortals tremble in fear while hypocrites dance with joy.

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  • 178. At 1:32pm on 06 Sep 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Not Margaret Thatcher. More like Annie Oakley. Ready.....Aim.....Vote!

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  • 179. At 3:15pm on 06 Sep 2008, Sylbia wrote:

    The problem with women politician in the US is they lie, get caught in the lie, and portray themselves as untrustworthy. Any woman planning to be a US President need to start setting standards - respectable standards.

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  • 180. At 3:18pm on 06 Sep 2008, Martijn wrote:

    Comparing Palin to Thatcher is implying that Palin will one day lead both her party and her country. God (yes, Him, Sarah) forbid. At least mrs Thatcher got where she was on her own accomplishments. Mrs Palin so far is just a figurehead who has proved adept at reading a speech that was written for her by a cynic like Karl Rove who just wants to milk poor, under-educated, so-called christians for their votes. Big deal for a former tv presenter. Anybody who still believes any republcan candidate is anything but a figurehead for short-term corporate interests, has to be a complete fool. Looking at the polls, that seems to be a frighteningly large part of the US population.

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  • 181. At 3:38pm on 06 Sep 2008, Martijn wrote:

    "I also believe the world outside america is a dangerous place"

    Not half as dangerouys as America itself tho, with all those nutters going around shooting everybody in sight. Somehow that doesn't happen over here.
    Seriously, this ist he problem with republican voters. They have been told the world outside America is a dangerous place for one reason only: To keep the social and economic status quo in America in place.
    For a European the American political spectrum is bewildering. Americans have the choice between right-wing (the Democrats) and ludicrously righ-wing (the Republicans).
    It is by fear of the outside world that America doesn't have a socialist movement, that its unions are in the hands of organized crime.
    To keep socialism from its own soil, America has waged one unjust war after another, has toppled deomocratically elected governments, has allowed and participated in the murder and torture of countless people all over the world.
    In the end you reap what you sow, so I don't see how Americans can be surprised or amazed at their present bad press.

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  • 182. At 5:18pm on 06 Sep 2008, stewkablooie wrote:

    Guys..., just read 1984 and draw your own conclusion to the current situation....
    And, for anyone who is creationalist or evolutionist, science and theoligy CAN support each other - this commentator believes that the truth to a supreme being or whatever, is through the pursuit of science and philosophy as well as understanding spirituality and that if there is a "divine path", it's that we are capable of being guardians of this world. We are surely still naive yet as a species, and we should be eager to learn...not hate. The problem with Palin is her interpretation of "God"............ there should be no "us" and "them". When did good and evil become Christian and Muslim...? Your economy is not messed up because two planes hit the twin towers......

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  • 183. At 5:25pm on 06 Sep 2008, allmymarbles wrote:

    179, Silbia.

    Your description of female candidates sounds just like male candidates. Are you proposing a higher standard for women? Are there any politicians who don't lie?

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  • 184. At 7:12pm on 06 Sep 2008, ptiger62 wrote:

    Is it just me or has she not made her son who is going to Iraq a target. She told them when he was going to deploy, his unit and they showed him on the screen. She as good as put a bullseye on his back, wouldn't that be a coup for Al Qaeda, what sort of judgement is that for someone who is going to be a heartbeat from the most powerful position in the world. No Mrs Thatcher she! She may be happy to put her son at risk but she may get the power to put mine at risk as well, and the fact they are ow hiding her away so that the press can't ask her any questions what are they afraid?

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  • 185. At 8:52pm on 06 Sep 2008, shrift wrote:

    All I'm saying here is
    Dick Cheney talked about putting lipstick on a pig at the last election.

    Now Palin, and I'm not saying she's a source of bacon, but she just as good said she was a pit bull with lipstick.

    What is it with republicans and animal loving? I think it could transgress biblical codes, indeed it's a bit Babylonian- as in "the the world's going to satan"-Babylonian.

    Furthermore- aren't pit bulls those dogs that savage little children?
    Is that who we want for VP?
    Indeed don't they put those animals down for everyone's sake?

    Can I get a witness!

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  • 186. At 9:38pm on 06 Sep 2008, shrift wrote:

    I think we all misheard what they were chanting that night.
    Once you erase all the static of the clapping and the oil-drilling and God's snoring then you can plainly make-out, I heard it on Lush Rimbo, you can hear-
    "He's not gay, He's not Gay, He's not gay!"
    Now why they would feel the need to say such a thing in a free country I don't know but maybe they were just trying to play to the social conservatives........

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  • 187. At 10:17pm on 06 Sep 2008, MaxSceptic wrote:

    Ironically, unlike Thatcher and Palin, the current idol of the feminist left (one Hilary Clinton) reached her position on the coattails of her husband.

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  • 188. At 11:15pm on 06 Sep 2008, shrift wrote:

    Golly jeez Max-

    Is that supposed to mean anything?
    Hilary isn't running for anything right now so why bring it up?

    But as you did bring it up perhaps you have strong feelings about her?

    I don't think she can have spent so much time on Bill's coat-tails as she might have stumbled in on something of his canoodling hobby dontcha think?

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  • 189. At 11:21am on 07 Sep 2008, MaxSceptic wrote:

    Because, HickorySmoke @188, The Hilary-supporting feminist left are the most vocal in their condemnation of Palin.

    As for Bill's 'canoodling hobby': with Hilary at home can you blame him? (Well, apart from appalling taste even in his ex-curricular activities...)

    Why bring it up now? For the fun of it.

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  • 190. At 1:40pm on 07 Sep 2008, shrift wrote:

    Max@189- I see where you are coming from.
    You really believe that the biggest issue in this election is the left wing media bias in the US and across the world and that cannot in any way compete with the small voice of America's impartial radio analysis, brave beacons in a hostile and well armed world of left wing commie pinko fags. The likes of Rush(where's my next fix coming from) Limbo, yes it is true Max those the daily wail of those small patriots are as nothing compared to the clanging liberal cry in the media.

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  • 191. At 2:03pm on 07 Sep 2008, JohnAAA wrote:

    The later postings by Justin Webb's blog apper to be blocked to comments - they are showing NIL comments from any source for many houts, not even commentd waiting to clear the moderators.

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  • 192. At 12:58pm on 08 Sep 2008, bright-eyedLondonLad wrote:

    (Russell Brand MTV Awards Host)

    "Some people say, America is not ready to elect a black President, racists I think they call them!"

    Finally, somebody has spoken about the elephant in the room. It's a factor, yet it's never discussed and never acknowledged.

    I hope the best man wins and for me that man is Barak Obama, but do I really dare to believe that it could actually happen?

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  • 193. At 5:21pm on 08 Sep 2008, 46thparallel wrote:

    The Republicans have made a Faustian bargain by nominating Sarah Palin.
    After the huplah about her has died down, I am quite sure she will prove as much a liability as a benefit.
    As more and more information comes forward about her, I am sure the gloss will come off fairly quickly.
    The upshot of all of this is that it will remain a very tight race, and every vote will be quite critical.

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  • 194. At 08:19am on 09 Sep 2008, danielmilloy wrote:

    Sorry, could you just remind me... Who is the one running for Pres, and who is running for VP?

    Oh, and what is it exactly a VP does every day?

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  • 195. At 09:59am on 11 Sep 2008, ApratimMukherjee wrote:

    Margaret Thatcher had been into power.She had ruled Britain as a disciplined Prime Minister.Sarah Palin is not even in power as far as world scene is concerned.We can compare both ladies if and only if Ms.Palin comes to power.

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  • 196. At 01:06am on 13 Sep 2008, arnold_carton wrote:

    Britain, elected a woman leader roughly 20 years ago. She was a tough female politician called Margaret Thatcher and as she fought the election she was viciously attacked by her opponents but like any candidate for the leadership of their country she accepted this as part of running for high office. She did not claim special treatment; she did not ask to be treated respectfully just because she was a woman.

    So why is John McCain making such an issue about Barrack Obama showing a lack of respect for Sarah Palin?

    America has an unpleasant history of overreacting when black men are perceived as being disrespectful towards white women.

    Is this why John McCain finds it so easy to organise a media lynching of Barrack Obama?

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  • 197. At 01:25am on 15 Sep 2008, pathmajor wrote:

    I never liked Thatcher, but I respected her intelligence and her determination. Her views were rational even if you disagreed with them. Justin's comparison is as superficial as it gets. Palin is simply another clueless, nutcase fundamentalist and represents a choice by McCain that is both dangerous and cynical. How can such a Presidential candidate be trusted by the American electorate after the painful lessons of the Bush years? By the way, has anyone read the exposure of Palin by the New York Times?

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  • 198. At 04:58am on 15 Sep 2008, souzanir wrote:

    Can agree more on your comment. Palin is a natural player.She'll do well.

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  • 199. At 9:54pm on 15 Sep 2008, DesktopCynic wrote:

    No, definitely not a new Thatcher. If you recall Thatcher had a science degree (Industrial Chemistry I think or something similar) and a real appreciation of science, engineering and technology. I am fairly sure she would have laughed at the very thought of creationism.

    And never in a million years would she have claimed to know foreign policy because she could 'see Russia." What a joke. I can see stars at night. Am I an astrophysicist?

    I disliked Thatcher at the time for her politics but I never doubted her ability or her intellect. And she had done her time at ministerial level for several years, at a high level of national government, so she knew about that too.

    Palin is one of those people who regards intellect as some kind of character defect.

    When did 'intellectual' become such a dirty word in America? This dumbing down is frightening. No wonder we have to import 70,000 highly qualified people a year on H1B visas to run our industry, because we can't produce the scientists we need ourselves.

    We have elevated mediocrity to an absurd level.

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  • 200. At 04:40am on 25 Dec 2008, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    I have to agreed with you, that Palin would have been a great to the Thatcher years in the United Kingdom...

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