October 12, 2008

Palin is a neocon puppet; Kristol is Geppetto From Scott Horton; In June 2007, a cruise hosted by the political journal The Weekly Standard set anchor in Juneau, Alaska. Standard editors William Kristol and Fred Barnes then lunched with Governor Sarah Palin. It was a moment of discovery to equal Hernando Cortez’s landing at Veracruz. The Daily Telegraph’s Tim Shipman saw this encounter as the launch of a Neoconservative project surrounding Palin. He interviewed a former Republican White House official now at the American Enterprise Institute about Palin: “She’s bright and she’s a blank page. She’s going places and it’s worth going there with her.” Asked if he sees her as a “project,” the former official said: “Your word, not mine, but I wouldn’t disagree with the sentiment. Kristol can fairly lay claim to having “discovered” Palin for Washington political circles. Palin’s name appeared in 41 Weekly Standard articles since the Juneau meeting—starting with a paean entitled “The Most Popular Governor” that ran right after the reception. Indeed, Kristol, who was a loyal McCain supporter in 2000 and is often thought to have suffered exclusion from Bush’s inner circle as a result, may have played a key role in McCain’s decision to tap Palin as his running mate. A McCain campaign insider described to me a tight three-way competition between Palin, Joe Lieberman, and Mitt Romney in the final days. McCain himself, it was no secret, wanted Lieberman to be his running mate, but his senior advisors were adamant that Lieberman could not be sold to the Republican...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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