September 9th, 2008
09:17 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Stem cells, lipstick, wolves and more

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/09/palin9.9post.jpg]

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

56 days isn’t much time to get to know someone but that’s what voters - and newsrooms – are up against with Gov. Sarah Palin. Before long-time senator Joe Biden became Barack Obama’s running mate, he was, of course, a presidential candidate. We’ve heard him talk about the issues and the policies he supports – at length and in great detail. We’re still waiting for Palin to do the same. We’ve seen the energy and excitement she’s injected into John McCain’s campaign but we’ve yet to hear - straight from Palin herself - exactly where she stands on many of the issues Americans say they care most about. Just like nature, politics abhors a vacuum, and rumors about Palin are flying all over the internet – about how she tried to ban books at her local library after becoming mayor and how she cut funding for special education programs. Tonight, we’ll separate the facts from the fiction, just like we’ve done with rumors about Obama.

We’ll also take a close look at Palin’s environmental record in Alaska. She supports oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – and her critics say when energy exploration butts head with the environment, nature usually ends up taking a back seat. As governor, Palin pushed to lift a ban on hunting wolves from planes, a practice that’s been illegal nationwide since 1972. 360’s Randi Kaye is in Alaska digging deeper.

We’ll also look at the sparks over Joe Biden’s remarks today about stem cell research and Barack Obama’s reference to “lipstick on pigs.” It was a busy and testy day on the trail.

If the program seems a bit heavy on Palin coverage, we think it’s justified. As we said, 56 days isn’t much time to get to know someone. We’re doing our best to take the mystery out of an unknown. What questions about Palin, her experience, and her views are most important to you? We’ll see you at 10 eastern.

Filed under: The Buzz
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    @Bob Malone – I enjoyed your comments. You made a lot of sense. And yes, this is very good drama. The greatest generation was the generation that lived through the Depression and fought in WW2 while the women took over the men's work in the states making war materials. Our parents generation. They are dying off fast now. Its up to us now.

    September 10, 2008 at 9:51 am |
  2. Kent, Illinois

    So McCain can lie and say Obama wants sex ed taught in Kindergarten but say something about lipstick and pigs and that is over the line huh? More of the same........all of this is Rove politics which keeps us as far away from the issues as we can get. I can't wait til the debates...............

    September 10, 2008 at 9:45 am |
  3. Barry

    I caught the story last night on ,Anderson Cooper , about Palin pushing for the hunting of wolves from aircraft in Alaska. They are doing this to upset the natural balance, and therefore have more game for the hunters. I am sure that God will not notice that she is messing with his creation, after all he is way too busy working on pipelines and the Iraq war. If she ever becomes President I wonder if everything she does will be part of God 's plan. WAKE UP ! AMERICA!

    September 10, 2008 at 9:42 am |
  4. LaVerne

    Before someone take the sentence, leave the trash in the trash and apply their own negative and distored view, let me tell you what it means. It means to stop taking comments made by the candiates and applying a distorted view. That is trash. Stick to the real issueses that affect every american. The next president will be president for all of Amerca but we especially need someone who will hear the cries of the needy and the powerless.

    September 10, 2008 at 9:39 am |
  5. patsy

    Please women voters! Take a deep breath. Before you help build the "Palin bridge to nowhere", think about how long it took us to bridge the gap between sexism and the bridge of equal responsibility for our own actions. If Sarah Palin had not wanted to start a firestorm of "trite comparisons", she should never have thrown a pit bull into the ring! Ms. Palin, "If you don't want to mix it up with the boys in the yard, stay on the porch, don't hide behind McCain's short skirt'ng of the issues!

    September 10, 2008 at 9:29 am |
  6. Danielle

    I am a 32 year old CEO and I am in disbelief with the way the McCain/Palin party is playing this lipstick thing. It is amazing to me how much attention the media is giving this stupid issue. Also Michelle Obama can make a statement about being proud of her country and the media jumped on it as if she never loved her country. However, McCain can stand on a national stage during his convention and say, “I fell in love with my country when I was imprisoned in another” and he is cheered and applauded. Let’s be real if Barack Obama was a white man this would be a landslide. It would be said how wonderful, intelligent, and such a breath of fresh air he is. I encourage you to do a trick that they did on the movie “A Time to Kill”. Close your eyes and think about the two candidates and what they have to offer and imagine both were white. When you open your eyes it would be a President Obama. Let’s grow up America and mature please.

    September 10, 2008 at 8:56 am |
  7. Mike, Naples FL

    We are seeing where this is heading, just like 4 years ago. Please, all Obama advisors and volunteers. You need to start using Counter attacks. This simply means when the right wing/ Republicans put out a smear, like this Pig lipstick thing or child sex education thing, you need to immediately attack that with counter attack, use this as an opportunity to turn it around. You need to get taped/recorded conversations with REPUBLICANS who say "we cannot vote for Obama because he is black, or because he is a muslim" you need to take these comments on tape and spread it all around ads and spread the word how many racists are with the republicans. Americans don't like this. but that will counter attack the Mccains camp. you need to do this. Americans are mostly ignorant to the real issues that obama states..they just look at the big picture of is he too radical? too muslim? whatever lies they might make up..americans will absorb this. so you need to get real and get these racial republican comments out there in ADS, it's the only way to spread the truth about supporter in Republicans.

    September 10, 2008 at 8:53 am |
  8. Doris Kaneklides

    After watching the rest of your show last night I appreciate you all bringing out the information about the abuse of wildlife in Alaska. Please bring this out more during the daytime news.

    September 10, 2008 at 8:40 am |
  9. Anonymous

    For those of you who still think that the pig with lipstick wasn't an attack against Obama..

    Obama is either really nasty... really unlucky,... or has no idea what is going on around him.

    I'll explain... over the past few days since the RNC the jokes about lipstick have been many and all over the web and even the news.

    Bear with me.

    Also jokes about her basketball nickname have also been many. THE BARRACUDA a fish.

    Now what are the odds that Palin was a self proclaimed ..
    1. Pitbull with lipstick
    and her HS basket ball team mates called her
    2. The barracuda

    you would have to be living under a rock to not know those things.

    Then Obama makes back to back condescending remarks that use metaphors that involve a
    1. pig with lipstick (Pitbull with lipstick)
    2. a dead fish wrapped in newspaper (The barracuda)

    And the Dems expect us to believe that a Harvard Lawyer the likes of OBAMA couldn't see that???????

    He is a lawyer words are supposed to be part of his profession.

    COME ON!!!! Even if it WAS and accident. By any standards its a bad choice of words.

    I wish the Obama camp would themselves believe the American people are not stupid.

    September 10, 2008 at 6:39 am |
  10. Ed Comfort


    Another "caught lie". Check out the picture of Senator holding the fishing rod; (Zebco, I believe) It's upside down and did not seem to be a familiar object. Must be one of her kids since she obviously doesn't really fish......Kind of like the nowhere bridge.

    Aerial Wolf hunting????

    No Oil interest....she's willing to kill a few million salmon......SHAME ON HER!

    September 10, 2008 at 6:39 am |
  11. cali

    I haven't managed to catch the entire clip, but I don't believe that Obama called Palin a pig anymore than McCain called Clinton a pig. That would be stupid, and these men are definitely not stupid.

    The rumors are out of control, and (my opinion) ... the rumors belong on the more radical blogs. There are PLENTY of those sites.

    I trusted CNN to be unbiased and fair to all candiates, and the blogs should maintain the same quality of fairness and accuracy.

    September 9, 2008 at 11:44 pm |
  12. Dara

    Obviously there a lot of expectations about some error in the Obama's speeches. He always was extremely respectful about Palin daughter's pregnancy, is a elegant and true gentleman. We know that offenses are not his style. I really love this aspect of the Democrats contrasting with the Republicans.

    Is embryonic stem cell research ethic problem? The religious says the embryos is our problem and the children your.

    September 9, 2008 at 11:42 pm |
  13. chrissy

    What a joke! The first time I heard Palin compare herself to Hillary I wanted to vomit! I am so disappointed in Mc Cain's choice. He used to care about the environment......now he is running with somone who thinks the world was made for our conveniences! Use it, abuse it, and kill everything on it...NICE! If she is such a proud Hockey mom you think she would care a little more about the environment for her children's sake! Also, if church and state are suppose to be seperate how can a conservative praise her stance on abortion yet continue to support the war? Isn't killing involved in both? Hello!!! Ariel gunning animals.....isn't that killing too? Sounds like double standards to me. Hipocracy at its finest! This is just the tip of the melting iceberg!
    Old news...let's get down to the issues that matter to everyday people. Does she even know what they are? Can't even talk to the press....HMMM? Oh, is it unfair to make her talk to the press? She obviously can't take the heat like Hillary and the rest of the candidates.

    September 9, 2008 at 11:38 pm |
  14. Suzette

    Excust me, but if I remember correctly, Mrs. Palin is a highly Conservative Beauty Queen.. I think she's the person who's trying to be popular.. After all, she is used to being in the spot light!!!! I think that all of her energy comes from people praising and worshiping her..

    September 9, 2008 at 11:37 pm |
  15. Karen

    As a voter, I am interested in knowing the candidates background, experience, and politcal views. If the Republicans continue to protect Sara Palin from questions that I don't feel she is qualified to be VP and take on the touch challenges and scrutiny that comes with the job.

    September 9, 2008 at 11:37 pm |
  16. Kay

    I, for one, would love to see McCain speak for himself for a change and not take backstage to Palin..... HE is running for President, not her.

    If they are electted, who is going to run the office?

    September 9, 2008 at 11:36 pm |
  17. Jona

    Embryonic stem cell scientist are not being honest with the public. I looked into it and the only successful, predictable,resultshave been with mature stem cells from donors. They can not predict what an embryonic stem cells are going to develop into. More money should be spent on research on mature cells and getting donors. They are playing on peoples fears and hopes when the science just doesn't support it.

    September 9, 2008 at 11:36 pm |
  18. Don

    Why do so many want to waste $$$ on ESCR that has not demonstrated any pay-off whatsover? All the exciting advances and breakthroughs are with the adult stem cells. Ask Californians how happy they are about throwing billions down the drain in a state budget drowning in a sea of red.

    Palin has been the VP nominee for less then 2 weeks, and she's been ravaged by a biased and unhinged media. It's kinda funny watching these hacks - like this Halpern on Cooper's 360 tonight . Obama clearly played on Palin's lipstick joke from her convention speech. When will they ever investigate and report on Obama? The WaPo has yet to report on Rezko & Ayers or on Obama's utter lack of any meaningful experience, or to hold him to account for his disingenuous political ads. His "change" is nothing more than the liberal template, which has failed over & over.
    Almost every major challenge is largely the doing of dems & liberals. The current Fannie May debacle is primarily due to dems and especially the Clintonistas who ran it into the ground with Enron-like accounting. The energy problem is simply becasue dems refused to allow Amercian enterprise to develop and deliver product & services by inhibiting nuke power plants, curtailing new drilling and preventing any new refineries from being built. With all that is going on, the economy is still not near as bad as the press would like you to believe, which actually speaks well for Bush's stewardship.

    September 9, 2008 at 11:35 pm |
  19. Hank, Detroit, MI

    I'm sure the McCain/Palin ticket would love to have the election right now, thinking they can capitalize on the sudden freakish popularity of La Palin, and coast to victory amidst a big cloud of dust and confusion

    too bad for them that the media wolves are closing in on her, although, the way this campaign is going, they'll find a way to turn that to their advantage, too

    btw, if I hear the word "Maverick" one more time, I'm going to have to be strait-jacketed

    September 9, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  20. Anne

    I am an independent and leaning towards Obama but am so frustrated by the obvious bias of the press. I am becoming more convinced that you are going to ensure Barack does NOT get elected by attempting to distort the positions of his opponents which only serves to shore up the conservative base and others who are fed up with the bits of information the media is choosing to omit. Don't be so afraid of the facts. The American people are smart and will elect the best person, IF they are given unbiased information that doesn't leave out key details. For example, do your research on the bridge question - even msnbc seems to get why she changed her stance. As soon as Palin does her interview she will clarify and you will only look like fools. If Obama is the best candidate his positions will win out, but if the playing field isn't fair, you will see many rooting for the underdog which will be just fine with the McCain campaign.

    September 9, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  21. Chuck

    Hopefully the press will grill her about all of these situations and expose her for what she really is. Her stump speech is really getting tired. She is saying nothing and much of it is false. I think she is going to collapse when she really has to give some answers and she cannot give her rehearsed lines.

    September 9, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  22. Cathy Bonnett

    I would really appreciate it if the new media did some serious questioning of Sarah Palin. It is conceivable that she could be President. We need to know what she thinks, how she handles herself when she has to communicate her own thoughts, how deeply she understands issues. The more I hear about her, the more she makes me think she is a female George Bush.
    To spend the precious time we have left in this election on silly reporting on silly things, (like lipstick on a pig) is foolish. CNN has a huge influence. Use it wisely.

    September 9, 2008 at 11:32 pm |
  23. bob malone

    Isn't it interesting when smoke and mirrors are exposed to somone that is real. The smoke and mirrors all of the sudden look like smoke and mirrors. Obama may well have experience putting lipstick on pigs or horses or whatever he chooses to put it on but he cannot easily shake the fact that Palin is real.

    So what is left the slams on her daughter, her baby and her, have not done much to disuade people from liking what Palin stands for that is because the truth is the truth. Like it or yell at it but yet there it is still the truth. Democrats can understand that Macin and Palin have more experience than Obama it is just a fact. So he must dig dig dig and talk about her minister, the weather, what might have been.

    He is the one that rebuked Hillery who actually had some experience but he though he had the world in a jug and the cork in his hand and chose poor old Joe. Why you ask? Who cares, he made his move and Macin made his move and now the chase is on.

    Great drama don't you think? Winners win and cryers cry...
    But our Military is in a war, Why is not America in a war with them to help them to support them. What happened to the greatest generation?

    September 9, 2008 at 11:32 pm |
  24. Caroline

    The right wing media can attack Obama, Biden and any democrat in any manner they choose. Why do they seem to think that Sarah Palin should be exempt from even legitimate questions? This is totally puzzling to me and shows the fear that they have engendered in the mainstream media – fear of being labeled as "liberal".

    Higher unemployment, an economy that is failing, the mortgage industry in crisis, the biggest national deficit in history, 40+ million Americans without health insurance, a quagmire in Iraq, losing ground in Afghansitan, a worthless dollar, inability to provide the type of global leadership that this country has stood for for more than a century. This is the legacy of Bush/Cheney. If you vote for 4 more years of the same, heaven help you because McCain/Palin won't.

    September 9, 2008 at 11:32 pm |
  25. Jack

    I find it interesting that when Senator Obama "burst" onto the scene, and most Americans had not heard of him, the press was lax to look into who this guy was. At times, it even seemed as though they were protecting him. Millions of devote followers and an adoring press went hand-in-hand. Now Sarah Palin "burst" onto the scene, seems to have millions of devote followers and the press is on the attack. Your uneven handedness shows and will only push more people towards the McCain/Palin ticket. Future generations will undoubtly look back at this election cycle and puzzle at the press's deep involvement in a process they are supposed to only monitor.

    Jack – Des Moines, IA

    September 9, 2008 at 11:31 pm |
  26. Nigel

    You ALL know the only reason to talk about Palin here on such a liberal based blog is because she is making such a huge dent in the NObama halo. Give me a break – NObama a leader???? He is a good speaker, a true politician, one of the guys out of the Chicago political machine. What has the man done? Has he made any decision worthy of note other than dissing his x-pastor because it was causing him too much heat? He believes in pulling Americans out of Iraq to save lives, correct? Then why at the same time does he endorse abortion of Americans? Has he ruled even a village? Been in an Executive position of authority? Tell me please what he has done! If you think he will give you all these things that he is touting as his change and your taxes won't go up you are sadly mistaken. You can't have all the programs, handouts, freebees, and still not get stung with higher taxes. Maybe not the poor but all you out there that have maybe invested wisely, made sound decisions about your finances, been frugal with spending and saved some money....get ready....he is going to take it from you. OH and getting out of Iraq ... just another blowhard promise he is making which he has already changed his mind on about the time he got the security update after accepting the presidential nomination. Think about it. He nothing but a bleeding heart liberal who will suck you all in and take your money, your freedom, and your future.

    September 9, 2008 at 11:31 pm |
  27. mamie stafford

    Sara's appearance has certainly made Hillary take a look at her own. The blue suit and frosted hair is an improvement !

    September 9, 2008 at 11:31 pm |
  28. Ken Christensen - West Chicago, IL

    The Republicans are unbelievable. They run this Alaskan Sled Dog (with lipstick) out there and expect her to be untouchable because she is female. What the heck difference does that make? Did Hillary receive any special treatment when she was running? Would McCain have treated her with "kids gloves" if she were the Democratic nominee? Heck no! His staff would have been trotting out all of the stuff from President Clinton's 8 years in the White House.

    While it would be so nice to go through a campaign without all of the attacks and stuff, Mr. Obama and his staff need to go for the jugular just at the right time and bury this Alaskan Sled Dog (with liptick) and send her back to the real frozen tundra.

    September 9, 2008 at 11:31 pm |
  29. Jona

    We are hearing a lot about Palin changing her mind on the bridge to nowhere, but what about Obama voting against the bill he helped put together on the border patrol. I am also suspicious of a man that had noted taken any side of fence 109 times while in enate. Pick a side of the fence and take the heat when your choice may be unpopular. I want to know where a canidate stands on issues even if it is not inagreemnt with my own views. Is Obama indecisive or simply too concerned about his popularity?

    September 9, 2008 at 11:26 pm |
  30. Irene

    If you watch the clip – the whole clip, you know that Obama didn't call Palin a pig.

    But here's a quote for you Karen:
    A Chicago Tribune article dated October 12 2007 quoted McCain as saying “I think they put some lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig,” McCain of Clinton's healthcare proposal.

    September 9, 2008 at 11:26 pm |
  31. Katherine

    The main reason why embryonic stem cell research is on hold is because of some religious view that life starts at the moment of conception. Galileo spent the rest of his life under house arrest because he claimed that the earth was not the center of the universe which opposed religious doctrine at the time. Well, he was right, wasn’t he? Why must scientists and discovery continue to be punished by the religious views?

    Religious beliefs should have NOTHING to do with dictating how scientists do their jobs. Just like science should have NOTHING to do with discounting religion. Religion is abstract. Science is based on the concrete. Neither should influence the other.

    I thought this was the land of the free. Why aren’t we free to make our own choice without having our choices stolen from us?

    Anyone who tries to push their religious beliefs on the entire nation by banning something that could be beneficial has more qualities similar to that of a dictator than qualities that signify a leader in a Democratic Government. Palin and McCain are just more of the same.

    September 9, 2008 at 11:04 pm |
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