Comment of the Day/Open Thread

I’m turning over the open thread today to this brilliant comment from long-time commentator cuatrocinco45. We’re still waiting to nail down details on whether you can catch the movie’s debut in Pella, Iowa or at least attend the post-movie barbeque. The Undefeated will also reportedly air in Nevada, South Carolina, and New Hampshire prior to its July 15th debut nationwide in select AMC theaters. You can purchase your tickets for the Undefeated’s July 15th debut in select AMC theaters here and if you do not live near any of those theaters, you can vote for the movie to be shown at an AMC theater near you here (if you live near the Seattle area, please vote for the Undefeated to be shown in what Jason Terry refers to as the “206” or “425”). The Undefeated will also be shown at the Smart Girl Politics Summit July 30th in St. Louis and at the Red State Gathering August 12 in Charleston, South Carolina.

What else is going on today?

One issue I’ve had with Gov Palin is her apparent modesty. Usually that’s a good thing, but not always. She never talks about her record so most people have no clue about it. She should talk about it more. We need to be aware of it. And able to talk about it with others.

Look at her history of executive and leadership positions:

1996 Elected Mayor of Wasilla
1999 Reelected Mayor of Wasilla
2002 Elected as President of AK Conference of Mayors by fellow mayors in the state
2003 Appointed by Governor(and fmr Senator) as Chairman of AK Oil and Gas Agency(A major leadership post in the state’s most vital economic field and industry)
2006 Elected Governor
2007 Elected Chairman of Interstate Oil and Gas Compact, a multistate/intl group focused on energy development…
2008 Nominated by GOP as Vice Presidential nominee after being selected by party’s Presidential nominee

That’s 7 major executive/leadership positions in 12 yrs. More importantly, a number of them involved her being chosen by her peers and other executives and leaders, a true sign of respect and accomplishment. All the other mayors in AK elected her President of the mayos conference. All of the other Governors elected her chair of the Interstate Oil/Gas Compact. The Governor selected her as chair of the AK Oil and Gas agency. The party’s standard bearer and assumed leader selected her as VP and as the future leader of the party. The people in Wasilla who knew her best twice elected her as Mayor and CEO of the city. All that matters. I think honestly she could do a better job of getting that information out there, most people don’t know about it. Hopefully this movie helps in that regard.

There’s nothing wrong for example with pointing out that Bachmann has never had any executive experience nor any real leadership positions. She was in the State Senate in MN and held no leadership posts. I think she briefly held held some minor post as Deputy Chair for the Policy Conference for the minority but the party leadership removed her from even that small post after a few months. And that’s not a real leaderhsip post like Maj/Min leader or Whip anyway.

She’s been in the House for 4 and half years. She’s held no leadership posts in that time. I don’t think she’s even been the ranking member or chair of any committee, and those posts reflect how your peers feel about you to some extent.

She’s never signed or passed any budget. Never cut or vetoed any spending bills. She’s never made any cabinet or other appointments. She’s never crafted or passed any tax of fiscal policy, let alone actually cut taxes of any kind. She has no record of creating jobs, of developin energy, of attracting business and economic development, no real record of anything. She’s never worked with the legislature to pass any bills. She’s never dealt with other executives from other states like Governors do on a daily basis. AK Governors even deal with Canadian official because of the border, and yes Pacific Rim powers like Japan, ROK and even Russia have consuls and other representatives the Governor deals with. She’s never been head of the natl guard or had any experience in dealing with deployments and other issues(natural disasters) that arise that Governors have. She’s been one of 435 people in Congress casting votes that were mostly already decided before she ever voted.

Even as Mayor. The Wasilla Mayor has many executive duties. Here’s a small list:
The 10 Powers and Duties of the Mayor of Wasilla are delineated the Wasilla Municipal Code, Chapter 2.16, Section .020:
A. The mayor is the chief administrator of the city, has the same powers and duties as those of a manager under AS 29.20.005, and shall:
Preside at council meetings. The mayor may take part in the discussion of matters before the council,
but may not vote, except that the mayor may vote in the case of a tie; Act as ceremonial head of the city; Sign documents on behalf of the city; Appoint, suspend or remove city employees and administrative officials, except as provided otherwise in AS Title 29 and the Wasilla Municipal Code; Supervise the enforcement of city law and carry out the directives of the city council; Prepare and submit an annual budget and capital improvement program for consideration by the council, and execute the budget and capital program as adopted; Make monthly financial reports and other reports on city finances and operations as required by the council; Exercise legal custody over all real and personal property of the city; Perform other duties required by law or by the council; and Serve as personnel officer, unless the council authorizes the mayor to appoint a personnel officer.

Again, those are all real substantive executive duties that someone who’s been one of 435 people in Congress(and 90% of that time as part of a meaningless minority) just doesn’t have. They’re also duties that prepare you for being President much more than being in Congress. In 4 and a half years Bachmann has passed one meaningless bill that no knows about it. Remember when Republicans mocked Obama because he only passed two bills? At least he doubled her output.

As Mayor and Governor Palin actually has a record of job growth(that exceeded the natl rate and that of the other Govs in the race), of cutting taxes, of cutting spending, of vetoing excessive spending, of passing major legislation, of attracting economic development and growth, of dealing with issues like education, health care, the environment, of energy development, of implementing conservative principles that people claim to care about. Bachmann really has nothing of the kind. It’s not her fault, you can’t really get a record like that in Congress. But records should matter. Especially now that we’ve tried someone from Congress(and a fmr state senator and lawyer) with no record.

I think people really erred even with the VP thing by not mentioning any of this. I think once she gave that convention speech they tried to focus more on her personality and charisma than the record. And then 10 days later the markets crashed and that was that. But I think that record will be key if she runs. Voters are looking for substance. They want someone that has a positive economic agenda and the record to back it up, proof of accomplishment. Palin can say jobs grew in AK by 2.4% over my time in office, they only grew by 1.3% in MA during Gov Romney’s term, despite the nation being in a severe recession for much of my term and the economy growing during his. There was also better job growth in AK from 07-09 than in UT, or MN by the way. Bachmann can’t talk about any of that.

She can talk about standing up the establishment and the party whether it was with the whole Ruedrich thing, primarying the Inc Gov, endorsing Parnell over Young, endorsing Miller over Murkowski, endorsing people like Paul, even Rick Perry over the Bush/DC establishment. Does Romney have any record like that? I remember him trying to save Bennett in UT. Does anyone in the field have a record like that?

BTW, didn’t Bachmann endorse Romney in 2008? It’ll be nice to see her start going after him on health care. His statist policies and Romneycare didn’t seem to bother back then. His utter phoniness on abortion didn’t seem to bother her back then.

My point is that she has a really positive record with lots of achievements and lots of positive aspects, but most people don’t know about it. The media won’t discuss it. Personally I think part of it is that she’s so charismatic and down to earth that we tend to focus on the personal stuff with her and not the policy. All the stuff about the hockey mom and the kids and the hunting and the sports and the model looks and the folksy way of talking and just how fun she is and all the rest. But she has real substance behind all of that and I think if she runs she must get that across. She can’t be modest. She needs to tell people about her record, compare it with others, and get it out there.

I haven’t seen the movie, but hopefully it’s the first step towards really focsuing on her record and making people aware of it and moving off some of the more personality driven stuff. In the long run, I think that will help her.

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