Palin

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Most of what we've learned about Sarah Palin from the insta-vetting of the past two weeks reinforces what we already knew:

She doesn't know boo about national affairs. Her family life is colorful. She's a fundamentalist Christian and a rabid anti-environmentalist, whose only relevant experience for the national stage is her familiarity with drilling and pipelines.

Most of these are seen as assets by her supporters who are either with her on the cultural front or see in her a telegenic spokeswoman through whom they can give voice to a neoconservative agenda that Palin seems all too happy to parrot.

There are two facts, however, that stand out as damaging:

1) She made the Alaskan tax payer "reimburse" her for more than 300 nights of travel lodging expenses -- for nights she spent in her own home.

2) She asked American taxpayers to fund the study of the mating habits of crabs and of harbor seal DNA as part of an astonishing record of spending more than $700 million on pork in fewer than two years as governor.

The first dovetails perfectly with McCain losing track of his houses, and it cuts against her woman-of-the-people cred by making her seem like another pampered politician.

Image: Foreclosure signs. Voiceover: In these uncertain times, John McCain and Sarah Palin can sleep easy at night. One has so many houses he can't keep track of them all. The other charged taxpayers hotel rates... to sleep in her own bed. Barack Obama has a plan... The attack ad writes itself.

The second works because it's precisely the kind of "wasteful Washington spending" that John McCain has for decades preeningly crusaded against.

Voiceover: John McCain promised to make the abusers of federal earmarks "famous." Well... He's made the biggest pork-barrel spender in America his running mate. Followed by a list of Palin's absurd pet projects.

The rest, near as I can tell, is just noise.

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