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Is Sarah Palin the 'new Bush'?
David Edwards and Andrew McLemore
Published: Sunday September 7, 2008


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Who is Gov. Sarah Palin's real soul mate, Sen. John McCain or President Bush?

A Salon.com article offered a new take on Palin, calling her the "reincarnation of George W. Bush, as channeled by Karl Rove."

Although the two politicians have some differences -- including that Palin is from a blue-collar background instead of the oil-wealthy Bush family -- the article contends that Palin is the GOP's "new Bush" and "more polished, more presentable, more user-friendly than the original."

Sen. Barack Obama, who has frequently criticized McCain for voting with President Bush more than 90 percent of the time, also said Palin's politics are closer to Bush than McCain.

Asked during an interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News if McCain had met the "threshold test" of picking a qualified running mate, Obama called Gov. Palin a "skilled politician."

"He chose somebody who may be even more aligned with George Bush or Dick Cheney or the politics we've over the last eight years than John McCain himself is," Obama said.

An excerpt from the Salon.com story explains the connections between the histories and politics of Bush and Palin:

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Both became governor of their states while still political neophytes, triumphing over veteran opponents despite slender résumés (six years as a part-time small-town mayor for Palin; a failed congressional campaign for Bush) and staggering odds against them. In their gubernatorial campaigns, they emphasized bold ideas and reform, even touting their lack of experience as an asset rather than a liability; while in state office, they became extraordinarily popular, thanks to deft populist instincts and immense personal magnetism, as well as an unusual ability to project an aura of moderation and post-partisanship ("I reached across the aisle"; "I'm a uniter, not a divider") even while engaged in viciously political behavior.

More than any reforms she has brought to bear, it's Palin's streak of vindictiveness that has alienated her from Republican colleagues in Alaska, while Bush's reflexive belief that the world is the setting for a divine crusade of friends against enemies, good versus evil, is at the core of many of his administration's disastrous foreign policies. (Bush's simplistic reading of the global landscape seems to be echoed by Palin, who has referred to the Iraq war as a "task from God.")

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Palin and McCain claimed during the Republican National Convention that they were the "agents of change" and not Obama and his running mate Sen. Joe Biden, CNN reported.

"I have to make a strong case that we're going to bring about that change," McCain said in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation."
"And it's the right kind of change. And I know we're going to be talking about my running mate, but I think I got the right kind of running mate who has that record also."

In a speech in Indiana Saturday, Obama made it clear what he thinks of McCain and Palin's adoption of his meesage.

"Who is it that he's going to tell that change is coming?" he added, "I mean come on, they must think you're stupid!"

But Obama said the reason both candidates are unqualified is their refusal to discuss specific policies, especially during the Republican National Convention.

"The most important thing from my perspective is what are the policies that John McCain and his vice president intend to pursue," Obama said,

What I didn't hear from Governor Palin, what I didn't from John McCain, what I didn't hear at all during this convention is how they are gonna put people back to work ...deal with healthcare ...make college more affordable ...keep people in their homes," Obama said.

This video is from ABC's This Week, broadcast September 7, 2008.




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