Friday, October 8, 2010

Bristol in Fargo

Drove all day Thursday from my home to Fargo, ND and back. I was curious to hear what Bristol had to say and I've been itching to get out of the house for a change. A road trip on a beautiful, crisp autumn day seemed like just the ticket. And it was a beautiful ride. Autumn colors, Minnesota lakes all over the place, sky clear and as blue as blue can be making the water equally as blue, contrasting with the trees. Crisp, but not too cold.

Once I got to Fargo, it took me 20 minutes to find the Holiday Inn where she was speaking, but I need not have rushed. They said they got about 200 more people than they planned for and the line was still long. I estimate that they started half an hour late because of it. All in all, over 1,000 in attendance.

Unlike the last time I went to a Palin event, I didn't take any notes. You can't really enjoy it when you take notes, so if I get a few quotes wrong... Consider this my disclaimer.

First off, the Perry Center seems like a wonderful organization. Patricia Larson, the Administrator of Perry Center, choked up a number of times telling the story of how the Center was founded and her involvment in the ministry. Basically, they're a home for girls ages 12 to 23 (although exceptions are made for other ages) who get pregnant and don't know what to do.

Patricia told the story of how she graduated college just before the passage of Roe vs. Wade. She never really thought about abortion until she heard that an abortion clinic was being opened nearby. Inside she felt that this was very wrong, but she wasn't sure how to help. Her husband (she calls him the idea man) was away doing ministry work at the time. He called her up soon after and said, "Well, I did it." He had put an ad in the personal section of the paper:

"Pregnant? Call us first."

That was it. About six people responded in just the first week. Patricia found herself in the business of helping overnight, encouraging these young women, telling them that they are not junk, their lives have meaning. The baby they're carrying is not a mistake, it's a life God wants to use. Don't throw it away; there are other options.

One day a doctor came up to Patricia at church and offered to do whatever he could in addition to his regular practice. His name was Dave Perry. He often delivered the babies free of charge and sometimes provided emergency medical treatment to girls who were suffering from a botched abortion.

One of the more heart-wrenching parts of the story was when Patricia told of the first time she ever held signs in front of their local abortion clinic. It wasn't something she wanted to do; she felt that her strengths laid elsewhere, but she got talked into trying it for at least one hour.

The hour was almost up with her opinion unchanged, when a big Cadillac pulled up in front of the clinic. A well-to-do man and his wife got out of the front seat, went around to the back, and pulled their daughter out. She looked to be about 15. She was sobbing. "Someone help! I don't want to kill my baby, don't make me kill my baby!" They drug her in anyway.

That was it. Patricia was in with both feet, even for sign-waving.

Learn more about the Perry Center and about how you can help -

They showed this video in the introduction:

Anyway, on to Paliny things.

Scott Hennen, a regional conservative radio celebrity, was the Master of Ceremonies. He got fired up. I wish I had video of his introduction alone. He was praising Sarah Palin up and down, Bristol as well. C4P linked the interview he had done with Bristol earlier that day.

He told about how he was down and bored to tears in August of 2008 with McCain. "Is this the best we've got?"

He was talking to a friend of his, and his friend turned to him and said, "Don't you know the Barracuda?" Scott said no. His friend proceeded to tell him about the Governor of Alaska, former basketball player nicknamed 'the Barracuda.'

About a week later, she was announced as John McCain's VP pick.

I wish I could remember everything he said, but here's an example:

When something needs fixing, who do you call? "Moooooom!!!"

Deficits, government out of control... "Mooooooom!!!"

We're all here for a reason. That's her reason. That's why she's here.

He had me grinnin' from ear to ear. His speech was about as close you can get to an endorsement without technically endorsing. It was also so cute the way he talked about wanting Tripp to play hockey for the North Dakota Sioux. (That also reminded me of this stupidity. I demand they ban the "Fighting Irish!" stereotype as well /s. I'm sorry, but "Fighting Sioux" is a compliment. It's cool. What do you want to be called, the Knitting Sioux?)


Bristol got up after a couple more speakers. She was pretty nervous, I think. Not big-time outwardly, but she's shy by nature. It manifested itself in her speaking softly. An audience of 1,000+ has got to be nerve-wracking (I absolutely hated my speech classes). The audience was eager to cheer Bristol on and encourage her in her efforts. It had a feeling of them being there for her just as much, if not more, as her being there for them.

Hm, what to tell? There are a couple of really cute anecdotes she shared, but I'm not sure how detailed I should get. Janne has a general rundown.

She said she believes life begins at conception. She talked briefly about Baby Doe, the child with down syndrome who was left to starve to death. The man who pressured Congress to adopt the Baby Doe Law to make sure something like that would never happen again, Dr. Koop, talks about it and Reagan here. Ted Kennedy actually deserves a pat on the back for his role in the process as well.

She emphasized that her family was your typical, middle American family. The fact that the media looks at her family as if they came from another planet just shows you how out of touch the media really is. She talked about how, when she got pregnant, one of the things that made it so hard was everything else that was going on in their lives at the time. Big Brother about to go off to a war zone, a brand-new baby brother in the house, already-hectic schedules, etc... And now this.

Okay, I have to share a couple of the cute anecdotes, and then I'll leave it at that.

This wasn't her first trip to North Dakota. Track went to a hockey camp at UND, and Bristol said that they all hopped in the mini van and drove down to surprise him.

(According to Sarah at Faulker University, they were ready to do the same thing for Bristol. Just hop in the camper, drive down, and park alongside Bristol's place. I love how they don't seem to give a second thought to what anyone else would think about it. It's their family; it's what they do. They show up for each other.)

One more story. She said that at one of her basketball games, her dad showed up in the middle still in his hunting camo. He had just skinned a moose. He might have looked a little out of place but for the fact that he was in good company; Mom had arrived still in her camo a few minutes before.

The audience was really cool. Seemed like there were a lot of churches present, and again, it was like they were there to really encourage Bristol. Scott Hennen emphasized that God has a plan for Bristol and for Tripp. There's nothing like a salt-of-the-earth old church guy throwing his arm around you when you're young and telling you that you've got purpose. You're going to do something great for God one day.

At the very end, Scott got up again and made a pitch to donate to the Perry Center. Then a local pastor gave the closing prayer. He said that they had come up with the idea that they should pray for Bristol, and that's exactly what they did.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Todd Palin Responds

Via the Weekly Standard:

My family has worked hard in supporting Joe Miller, so when I heard he'd said something less than supportive of my wife's efforts, I responded. But it turns out we'd gotten our wires crossed and Joe hadn't said anything like what I'd been told. So there's no story here except the fact that the press put our personal emails online again, and again couldn't even be bothered to conceal our email addresses or take any steps to protect our privacy.

Ha! See? Miscommunication that they worked out quickly and got on with their lives. Big whoop.

I'll confess, I never bothered to look at the picture of the e-mail; I just read the text elsewhere so I had no idea they didn't black out the e-mail addresses. Swine.

P.S. I would assume Joe had a particular strategy in mind as well that Todd probably wasn't in on at the time of the interview. Bottom line, whatever it was was already worked out a long time ago between Miller and the Palins, and the Palins support Miller. Period.

As for any "leakers," Joe needs to figure out what happened and fix it.

The E-Mail

This whole Todd Palin e-mailing Joe Miller thing is so funny to me. Joe is supposed to be on Megyn Kelly today, so I guess we'll see what he has to say about it.

In politics, people get heated, get misinformation, fight about strategy, etc... No big flippin' deal. You think everyone in Romney's camp are always huggin' and kissin'? (I hope not. That would be a little disturbing.)

I could probe anybody's e-mail account and take one e-mail and conclude one thing. But then if you looked at further replies, clarifications, etc... you come up with a different picture. In politics people go back and forth about stuff all the time. This was a private communication. Todd was ticked off in the heat of the moment and told Joe what he thought about it. Obviously, it blew over. Big whoop.

I didn't have a problem with the way Joe answered the question, but I can understand Todd's response. "What, you couldn't just say "Yes"? Would that have been too hard after she practically put her political life on the line for you?"

The e-mail happened a couple weeks ago. The Palins have done many things to support Joe since then; Todd went on the radio to support him the day before this e-mail was leaked. This was old news to them. Obviously they cleared up whatever miscommunication had occurred, worked it all out, and moved on.

As for Joe forwarding it to his staff saying something like, "This is what we have to deal with. Look at the misconstruction..." I think that ticked off a couple of Palin people, but that's probably what the leak was meant to accomplish. The only reason I could think of that Joe would even forward that to his staff was to serve as an example of how things could be taken out of context. "See? This is what we have to deal with. Look at how things can be misconstrued..."

I could be wrong about that. We'll see what Joe says today, if he even talks about this at all.

Well, at least we have proof now that Sarah Palin writes her own FB posts. And apparently Todd loves his wife. Who'da thunk it?

Sunday, October 3, 2010