McCain's operatives obviously failed to properly vet the vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin.
But less than two years ago, when Ms. Palin was running for governor, the Democrats did their own vetting. They put together a document of 62 pages "with countless summaries or direct quotes, largely from local newspapers, [which covered] all of the important issues you would expect to see, from her views on abortion and abstinence to tangled oil pipeline questions."
Editor & Publisher reveals that "Politico.com obtained a copy and printed merely a handful of the hundreds of findings on Tuesday. These included serious matters such as her use of the mayor's office in political campaigns. But it also posted a PDF of the entire document which few have probably examined. Here [are] some of the more outrageous, or surprising, revelations -- strictly from newspaper clips."
1. On the death penalty. When questioned about the death penalty, in extreme cases, e.g. the death of a child, Palin said, "My goodness, hang' em up, yeah." (Anchorage Daily News, 8/18/06)
2. On religion. "Palin wrote a Letter to the Editor saying only, 'San Francisco judges forbidding our Pledge of Allegiance? They will take the phrase 'under God' away from me when my cold, dead lips can no longer utter those words. God bless America.'" (Juneau Empire, 6/30/02)
3. On Walmart. "Palin presided over a wedding at a Walmart. ... 'It was so sweet,' said Palin, who fought back tears during the nuptials. 'It was so Wasilla.'" (Anchorage Daily News, 8/28/99)
On Walmart and health coverage. "Asked about expanding health care coverage and about Wal-Mart's corporate conduct, she delivered non-answers with a disarming smile." (Anchorage Daily News, 1/30/06)
4. Used public funds for political gain. "In her 2002 Lt. Governor bid, Mayor Palin used city employees, telephones, computers, fax machines for campaign fundraising and literature. On her candidate registration form, she used her City Hall fax number, and her mayoral e-mail address. Records show that Wasilla city property was used to contact supporters, donors, media contacts, and media purchasing. (Anchorage Daily News, 7/21/06)
5. Gender card. "After Palin fired Irl Stambaugh, the police chief, he sued the city in part based on gender discrimination. The [Wasilla] Frontiersman wrote, 'The gender discrimination issues stem from statements Palin allegedly made to others that she was intimidated by Stambaugh's size. He stands over 6-feet tall and weighs more than 200 pounds, which, the lawsuit said, is attributed to his gender.'" (Frontiersman, 2/26/97)
Palin goes to Costco to see Ivana Trump. "Sarah Palin, a commerical fisherman from Wasilla, told her husband Todd on Tuesday she was driving to Anchorage to shop at Costco. Instead, she headed straight for Ivana. And there, at J.C. Penney's cosmetic department, was Ivana, the former Mrs. Donald Trump, sitting at a table next to a photograph of herself. She wore a light-colored pantsuit and pink fingernail polish. Her blonde hair was coiffed in a bouffant French twist. 'We went to see Ivana,' said Palin, who admittedly smells like salmon for a large part of the summer, 'because we are so desperate in Alaska for any semblance of glamour and culture.'"
(Anchorage Daily News, 4/3/96)
Palin couldn't run for Senate because she couldn't be the "team Mom." "A hockey mom and a former standout athlete herself, Palin said she understood her son's concerns. 'How could I be the team mom if I was a U.S. Senator?' she said." (Anchorage Daily News, 4/24/04)
6. Lying. "Palin Exaggerated Work Experience for Mayoral Campaign. In 1997, Frontiersman columnist Paul Stuart wrote that after Palin had criticized her opponent for using City Hall resources for political gain, 'when Palin was asked back then (by me) why the lodge where she claimed, in her campaign, to have gained her management experience, had no record of a borough business license or of paying any bed tax, she paused and said it might have been because the place had no clients for a year or so.' In an article describing the possibility of recalling Palin, the Frontiersman wrote the 'reasons include Palin's alleged falsification of her credentials during the campaign last fall." (Frontiersman, 1/22/97, 2/5/97)
"Frontiersman Editorial Said Palin Made Statements That Were 'Patently Untrue,' Said She Had Shown 'Unrepentant Backpedaling and Incessant Whining.' A Frontiersman editorial wrote, 'Wasilla residents have been subjected to unlawfully appoint[ed] council members, statements that have been shown to be patently untrue, unrepentant backpedalling, and incessant whining that her only enemies are the press and a few disgruntled supporters of former Mayor John Stein." (Frontiersman editorial, 2/7/97)
Another Frontiersman editorial: "Mayor Palin fails to have a firm grasp of something very simple: the truth." (Frontiersman, 2/7/97)
7. Personal. "Palin's Brother-in-Law Appeared on Reality Dating Show. Lt. Gov. candidate Sarah Palin thought it might help her campaign when brother-in-law Jack McCann showed up as a desirable catch on the new 'reality' TV show, 'Looking for Love: Bachelorettes in Alaska.' That hope lasted until she actually saw an episode of the series, which turns out to be your basic meat market twitch and grin. 'Oh Lord,' she said, 'My sisters and I watched it in horror.' Jack, who is scheduled to appear again even though he crashed a mountain bike in the first episode, is pretty cute and has a sense of humor, Sarah reports. 'He described his occupation ... as an office environment consultant,' she said. 'He sells furniture.'" (Anchorage Daily News, 6/9/02)
"Palin told The Associated Press that she and her husband, Todd, made a bet on whether Murkowski would run. If the governor says he'll enter the race, Palin has to get the Big Dipper tattooed on her ankle. If Murkowski says no, todd gets a wedding ring inked on his finger." (Anchorage Daily News, 5/26/06.)
Doesn't a lot of this stuff sound familiar?
Read more from Editor & Publisher here. There's more here at the E & P Pub. And Politico is here.