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Commentary: The Sarah Palin smear-fest

  • Story Highlights
  • Glenn Beck: Many of the things you've heard about Sarah Palin aren't true
  • Beck: She didn't say the Iraq war is a task from God
  • Palin has substantial executive experience in several jobs, Beck says.
  • Beck: She doesn't oppose teaching contraception in sex-ed classes
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By Glenn Beck
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Editor's note: Glenn Beck is on CNN Headline News nightly at 7 and 9 ET and also is host of a conservative national radio talk show.

Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck has some lines McCain can use in tonight's speech to articulate his vision for change

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Campaigns are ugly. Watching the way politicians act makes you long for the respect and self-control of the Sopranos. Throughout, there are legitimate attacks and outright lies.

Every once in a while, I get a call on my radio show from someone telling me that Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim, who admitted it in an interview with George Stephanopoulos, and has a fake birth certificate. No, no, and no. As I tell them, there are legitimate reasons not to vote for Barack Obama, no need to make them up.

But the newest target is Sarah Palin. Let's take a quick look at just a fraction of what she has faced in her first few days as John McCain's choice for vice president. Do you think Palin is being treated unfairly?

"Sarah Palin believes God told her to go to war with Iraq!"

There has been some hard-core journalistic malpractice on this one. The Associated Press ran this headline about a speech she gave at her church: "Palin: Iraq war 'a task that is from God'"

In the story, they omit the first part of the sentence they're quoting along with the entire previous sentence for good measure.

Here are her actual words: "Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them out on a task that is from God. That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."

Palin is clearly praying that we're doing the right thing in Iraq, something sensible for an introspective woman of faith concerned about the lives of our troops to do. She's not saying that she just received a text message from heaven's BlackBerry ordering her to launch missiles. Sorry to disappoint you.

And for those of you who think politicians asking God for guidance is offensive, might I remind you of this famous politician's prayer:

"Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will." --Barack Obama

"She has no experience!"

It's fair to assume that Barack Obama believed he was qualified to be in the White House when he announced he was running for president. At that point, he had been a U.S. Senator for 767 days. When Sarah Palin was announced as a vice presidential candidate, she had been the governor of Alaska for 634 days.

While I'm sure those extra 133 days were filled with personal discovery, I can't imagine anyone seriously trying to make the case that Obama is experienced and Palin isn't.

Unless, of course, you're Matt Damon, who said a Palin presidency would be a really "scary thing" because she has been "governor of Alaska for...for less than two years!" (Damon originally expressed his presidential preference for Obama in December 2006, when he had been a senator for less than two years.)

More importantly, Palin's career has been filled with executive experience. She's the only one of the four in this race who has run a business, town, and/or state (a state that gives her crucial energy experience in the middle of an energy crisis).

When Obama's campaign complains that Palin would be one heartbeat away from the presidency, they should consider that their candidate would be zero heartbeats away.

"But Obama is running a huge campaign -- Palin was just a small town mayor!"

Believe it or not, this one was actually trotted out by Obama himself.

"My understanding is, is that Gov. Palin's town of Wasilla has, I think, 50 employees. We've got 2,500 in this campaign. I think the budget is maybe $12 million a year. We have a budget of about three times that just for the month."

Apparently, Barack missed that she's become the governor of Alaska in the interim. Why would he compare his current duties with her former duties?

Well, since he announced his candidacy, Barack Obama has raised about $22 million a month. That's a large organization for sure, unless you are directly comparing it to Sarah Palin, who is handling state revenues that are about 61 times as large, or more than $1.3 billion per month.

"Palin only supports abstinence to be taught in sex-ed!"

This claim is usually followed by a super classy comment about her daughter and the use of contraception, but the premise is false. Palin hasn't said she doesn't want condoms discussed in sex-ed, calling their discussion "relatively benign."

"I'm pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues. So I am not anti-contraception. But, yeah, abstinence is another alternative that should be discussed with kids. I don't have a problem with that," Palin said. Hers is hardly an extreme point of view in America today.

"If she cares about children with special needs, then why did she cut spending on them by 62 percent?"

Actually, Palin almost tripled their funding in only three years from $26,900 per student to $73,840 per student.

Incidentally, the amount of government money you spend on a specific group doesn't equal the amount you care for that group, but that's another story for another column.

All of these represent just a small percentage of the bizarre collection of claims being thrown at Palin by her opponents and some in the media -- who are desperately hoping something will stick. I leave you with my favorite so far: The Internet rumors that she harbors racism against Eskimos. If true, she sure has a strange way of expressing it -- her husband, Todd, is half Yupik Inuit Eskimo.

To balance that out, she must really love his other half.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer.

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