Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Letterman apologizes to Palin over joke

Last year I predicted that Republican nominee for vice president, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, would be back and she would be welcomed (by some):
The beleaguered governor of the Last Frontier was greeted by well wishers when she landed in Anchorage, and while 52% of the country may be happy she has left, they would be foolish to think she is gone for good.

That's right: don't think you've seen the last of Sarah Palin. She will run for the Republican nomination for president, she will likely win, and she will give President Obama a run for his (substantial) money, if not win outright.
The power to make David Letterman cower enough to offer an apology for his joke about Governor Palin's 14-year-old daughter getting pregnant by New York Yankee A-Rod indicates she may have some serious support behind her, at least enough to make CBS wince:
On CBS' "Late Show" tonight, Letterman says he's sorry about a monologue earlier this month in which he joked that New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez impregnated Palin's daughter during a game. Letterman has said he intended the joke to be in reference to Palin's 18-year-old daughter Bristol, but Gov. Palin actually attended the game with her 14-year-old daughter Willow. Some critics have accused Letterman of joking about statutory rape.

"I told a bad joke," Letterman told viewers at an afternoon taping. "I told a joke that was beyond flawed, and my intent is completely meaningless compared to the perception. And since it was a joke I told, I feel that I need to do the right thing here and apologize for having told that joke. It's not your fault that it was misunderstood, it's my fault."

He concluded, "I'm sorry about it and I'll try to do better in the future."
I like Letterman, but I also think that a valid point can be made that politicians' kids — particularly underage kids — should be off-limits. Imagine having to go through the awkwardness of one's teen years with a rabid press corps nipping at your heels. 

We wouldn't likely tolerate this if it were someone making fun of Barack and Michelle Obama's two children, and when Rush Limbaugh supposedly jokingly referred to a very young Chelsea Clinton as the White House dog, a lot of people were angry about it. And I always felt sorry for the poor Bush twins, whose normal teenage antics were all over the tabloids for the whole world to see. 

Do I have a point here? Well, kids are off-limits, and Palin is staying in the spotlight and it looks like a lot of people on the right want her there. 

If you act now, you can corner the market on the "Palin-Huckabee '12" bumper stickers. If we're still driving cars in the future. 


  1. I completely disagree with you on Palin. While there may be some support for her by die hard republicans, she is the new J. Danforth Quayle. Quayle is actually a lot brighter than Palin. Her university record shows a lack of intelligence and commitment to learning. Katie Curik (sp) and Matt Lauer let her walk herself into making a complete idiot of herself on national TV. They really didnt even have to try. For her to even get close to the republican nomination in 2012, she would need to hit the books hard to gain an understanding of the world around her.

  2. Don't mistake my comments as an endorsement for Palin. Her lack of grasp of important geopolitical issues absolutely scared me.

    And she knows that's what she's up against, which is why, in that link, I wrote:

    According to Fox News exit polls, 66% thought Joe Biden was qualified to step in, but for Sarah Palin the number was in the high 30s.

    And so for the next thousand days or so, Sarah Palin is going to be remedying that very problem. She will be talking with advisors, practicing in the mirror, and reading up on whatever she can get her hands on so that she is up to snuff on the major international issues of the day over the course of Obama's first term. Though "anonymous" McCain staffers have said she thought Africa is a country and not a continent, she is a smart enough person to be able to cram for the foreign policy and economics exam she will be forced to take four years from now

    The key, nb, is not that people like you or me like her, but that the GOP nomination voters — a very small and often fringe portion of the electorate — loves her and the issues she stands for:

    Republican nominations, like their Democratic counterparts, are not (for the most part) determined by moderate, middle-of-the-road Americans just to the right of center who wish to balance the wishes and desire of all the people. Rather, they are partisans who often loathe the other side, and many of them are one-issue voters who will do whatever they can to make sure a sympathetic politician becomes the nominee.

    In that regard, she is no Dan Quayle. She's more like George W. Bush, circa 2000 and pre-9/11.

    I may end up changing my mind in the wake of major events between now and winter 2012, but I have successfully predicted, no later than two weeks before the first primary or caucus, every GOP nominee since 1988 (I've been interested in politics since I was a lad delivering newspapers). And right now Palin is my favorite.

    (I have less success with predicting Democrats, though Bill Clinton became my favorite after the 1988 Democratic convention, but I failed to predict John Kerry's or Obama's win)

  3. "...every GOP nominee since 1988" is very impressive. I once was very interested in politics, but not any more. All my heros are dead or too old. I was a big Jack Kemp fan (RIP). I thought Bob Dole would have made a terrific president. Bad timing for the Hatchetman, though. I even liked Alexander Haig ("I'm in charge here"). The GOP has been fielding shitty candidates since 1988 (1996 notwithstanding). The Democrats have been fielding shitty candidtaes since 1964 (Clinton notwithstanding). But you are wrong about Palin. She is of low intelligence and I was suprised Biden didn't make a fool out of herself. She'll get her chance against the Republican contenders in a few years. They will rip her apart at the 38Ds. I am willing to bet her IQ is about 100. I like Bobby Jindal. He is my pick for the 2012 nomination. Two minority nominees, battling it out in the various States. Obama can't play the race card there. Are you a Republican (like me)?


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