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What we didn't hear Palin say -- in campaign victory or loss

November 08, 2009|Andrew Malcolm and Mark Milian

A year ago Wednesday, then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin stood by while her Republican running mate, Sen. John McCain, delivered his concession speech outside the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.

Turns out Palin would have liked to give a little speech too, thanking some folks, graciously wishing the best to the Barack Obama winning ticket and introducing with effusive praise the man who plucked her from the political obscurity of Anchorage and thrust her, unprepared but eager, onto the national stage.

Turns out, we now may be hearing more about her in coming years than the military hero who picked her.

In their new book, "Sarah From Alaska," two journalists -- Shushannah Walshe and Scott Conroy -- publish, among other interesting information, the two speeches the first female on a Republican national ticket was prepared to give, one a victory speech and one a concession. The Beast has published a story about the book, and The Ticket has independently confirmed that the speeches from the book are, indeed, the ones written for her but never delivered because the McCain campaign staff decided the evening of surrender should belong to the old man and the old man alone.

We did not hear Palin say this in defeat:

"My fellow Americans, tens of millions of you shared our convictions and gave us your votes. And I thank you for your confidence. For us, it was not our time . . . not our moment. But it is our country . . . the winner will be our president . . . and I wish Barack Obama well as the 44th president of the United States. If he governs America with the skill and grace we have often seen in him, and the greatness of which he is capable, we're gonna be just fine.

"And when a black citizen prepares to fill the office of Washington and Lincoln, that is a shining moment in our history that can be lost on no one. Barack Obama has achieved a great thing, for himself and for our country, and I congratulate him. God bless you and your beautiful family, President-elect Obama."

And here's what we did not hear Palin say in victory:

"It's been just 68 days since that afternoon in Dayton, Ohio, when Sen. McCain introduced me as his running mate. He is truly the maverick.

"My fellow Americans, tens of millions of you shared our convictions and gave us your votes. And I thank you for your confidence. We were facing tough odds and formidable opponents.

"It's not always easy in politics to see the best in our opponents. But we have seen the grace and skill of Barack Obama, and the grit and determination of Joe Biden. By his nomination and extraordinary campaign, Barack Obama has achieved a great thing, for himself and for our country, and for that, America will always honor him. I say God bless you, Sen. Obama, and your beautiful family."

We'll hear plenty from and about Palin in the very near future with the Nov. 17 publication of her advance best-selling book, "Going Rogue." The interviews with Greta and Barbara Walters and Oprah, et al. One also suspects, though, in the months and years after, that we will be hearing some more Palin speeches.


Raising e-uproar about e-voting

Could we even call it election day without a completely absurd poll story?

Here's the best one The Ticket has found so far: A Houston man named Rad Rich shows up at his neighborhood polling place, expresses discontent with the philosophy of electronic voting and is told he can't log his votes without using a computer, according to the alt-weekly Houston Press.

Naturally, Rich's distaste for voting on computers led him to lodge a public complaint -- using a computer.

"I was told I cant vote because I refuse to use the computers so I was denied the right to vote," Rich wrote on the Hands Up Houston message board, according to the Houston Press. "I have filed a complaint."

In a follow-up with the Press, Rich said his protest wasn't because of a computer allergy but because he is skeptical of computer voting.

An absentee ballot would have eased his worries, but voters must swear they will be out of town on election day to receive a paper ballot.

We realize this story is a little ridiculous, but it raises an interesting question. With polls increasingly going digital, should election officials be required to offer a dead-tree version for the computer-phobic?


Biden wags finger at GOP in N.Y.

The day before Tuesday's election, Vice President Joe Biden was in Watertown, a rural town in a community of military families in an upstate New York congressional district that had been in Republican hands since the 19th century.

Campaigning for Democrat Bill Owens just as polls showed his opponent, conservative Doug Hoffman, surging with momentum, Biden turned the election into a referendum on the right-wing agenda of the Bush administration, policies he said "brought this country to its economic knees."

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