October 04, 2008

On a wink and a prayer...

What they say:

The McCain campaign was asked by ABC News to clarify what a McCain administration would do to "stop multimillion dollar payouts" to CEOs.

McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said McCain supports allowing company shareholders to vote on CEO compensation. However it's unclear how any president could enforce such a measure within a private company.

"What he supports is making sure that shareholders can vote on CEO compensation, right now he's saying they don't," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers told ABC News.

McCain's top economics adviser Carly Fiorina, a McCain campaign surrogate who made the rounds on the Sunday morning talk shows this past weekend and appeared on CNN Monday speaking for McCain, herself benefited from a multimillion dollar payout.

Fiorina was dismissed as the CEO of Hewlett Packard in 2005 after a merger with Compaq floundered, stock prices plunged 50 percent, and 20,000 people were layed off. Fiorina walked away with a $21.4 million severance package.

Asked whether McCain was talking about CEOs like Fiorina, McCain's top adviser who walked away with millions in compensation as her company's stock price plunged, Rogers said McCain was "talking about the issues that are before us today."

"We're talking about Freddie and Fannie and CEOs like Jimmy Cayne of Bear Stearns, Angelo Mozilo at Countrywide, folks that are largely responsible for what happened and walk away with this kind of multimillion dollar payout," Rogers said.

"I don't think there's any analogy there," Rogers said referring to Fiorina.

Heaven help us.

What she says:

I am one of those female, middle-class business owners Sarah Palin seemed to think she was addressing in last night's vice presidential debate.

Nothing is more horrifying than the thought of being represented nationally — or worse yet, globally — by a functionally illiterate, issue-evading, winking Barbie Doll. It is insulting to assume that Americans prefer lapses in the English language (“gonna,” “betcha,” etc. — how I wish the commentators would have counted the number of “ing” drops in her responses) to leaders who can speak clearly and articulately.

And I truly cannot imagine that Germany's Angela Merkel, Iraq's Jalal Talabani or China's Hu Jintao would appreciate coy winks during diplomatic discussions.

Palin's redirection of responses to the things she wanted to talk about (an expression she used more than once) was successful only in confirming her lack of knowledge about most of the issues that burden our nation today. Successful debating is about persuasive argument on the issues — not coy, patronizing, self-aggrandizing deflection.