Faith-based community organizers upset by Palin putdown

September 4, 2008

ST. PAUL – Faith-based community organizers have a message for Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin: they have “actual responsibilities” thank you very much.


In a pointed barb aimed at Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, John McCain’s running mate on the Republican ticket said her experiences as a small town mayor in Alaska were far more taxing than that of a community organizer.

Obama was a community organizer in Chicago two decades ago.

A small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities,” the Alaska governor told the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night in a rousing speech peppered with jabs at Obama.

Contrary to Palin’s disparaging remarks, organizers have major responsibilities for creating policy changes. Feeding the hungry and housing the homeless are clearly responsibilities of people of faith. We do that by providing food and shelter and more importantly, by organizing to address the causes of injustice and inequity which lead to hunger and homelessness,” said Kim Bobo, Executive Director of Interfaith Worker Justice, a congregation-based community organization in Chicago.

Bobo was quoted in a statement issued by several faith-based community organizations that bristled at the remarks by Palin, who has revved up other people of faith — the conservative Christians who comprise the Republican Party’s key base.  

(Photo credit: REUTERS/Rick Wilking, Sept. 3, 2008, USA)


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The overall tone of her speech was sarcastic and demeaning. As a mother who volunteers in the schools and in my community, I was deeply offended by her remarks. She may be good at firing up their convention, but she has discounted the lives of me and many other American women who believe we have a responsibility to help others.

Posted by Marcia B | Report as abusive

Wow what a smear and lie campaign McCain is now running with the newest liar Palin added to his team of degenerates.

Here is the real story Palin the shill and liar —

Obama Community Organizer
Palin Soccer Mom

Obama Harvard Law Professor
Palin Soccer Mom

Obama Illinois State Legistaltor
Palin Sports Caster (wow what qualifications for VP)

Obama United States Senator 3 years (USA)
Palin Governor 2 years of a state in middle of nowehere (Alaska)

Obama Presidential candidiate – 2 years
Palin Vice Presidential candidate – 1 week

or how about this one!

Joe Biden – Law Practice and City Counselman 3 years
Joe Biden – United States Senator 35 years (took office in 1973)

Sarah Palin – Alaska Governorer – 2 years

I don’t think Govenor Palin has much to be bragging about!!

Posted by Democrats 08 | Report as abusive

What a mean spirited sarcastic woman.
I guess Obama would have more credibility with Palin if he went the same path as her, via Beauty Pageants.

Posted by beth | Report as abusive

Palin by the Numbers:

Sarah Palin requested 5 times more earmarks per capita for Alaskans this year than the average for the US population:

Palin requested $198 million in earmarks for Alaska, which is $295 per Alaskan. By comparison, Congress awarded $16.5 billion for the entire country, which is $55 per American.

Alaska has a smaller population than a small city, with a huge oil industry to pay for the cost of running the state. Yet she was happy to tax the lower 48 states at 5 times the going rate. It seems that the so-called liberal welfare urbanites pay their way more productively than Alaskans.

Her tenure as Mayor of Wasilla is even more extreme compared to America at large. While she was Mayor of Wasilla, she received $27-million in earmarks from the Federal government. That’s almost $4000 per citizen in federal earmarks over her 6 year term, or an average of $642 per year per Wasillian. This is almost 12 times what the average American elsewhere receives in earmarks.
So much for earmarks and being independent of federal money.
By the time she left office as mayor, she had racked up $20 million is city debt, or about $3000 per citizen. When she came to office, Wasilla had little or no debt. In the same period, from 1996 to 2003, the national debt per citizen of the United States grew by $4,500 per capita, a period which included 9/11. She thus ran a 6,800-person municipality with no obligations for national defense, healthcare or almost any of the obligations of the federal government, about 33% more efficiently.
So much for fiscal conservatism.

I’ve worked out the following on elections etc. To put things in perspective:

Sarah Palin received 909 votes to become mayor of Wasilla. This is less than the number of votes it takes to become Student Council president at a typical American high school.

Sarah Palin received about 115,000 votes to become Governor of Alaska. That’s fewer votes than Ralph Nader received in Texas in 2000.

Alaska itself has a population about the same as Charlotte, North Carolina.

Posted by Len Smith | Report as abusive

I was disappointed in the overall mocking and sarcastic tones of both Palin and Guiliani. The community organizer quip was insulting to people who devote their lives to making their communities better. Guiliani’s clearly mocking reference to an Ivy League education also irked me. Are Republicans against getting a good education? If the former mayor had an Ivy League education, perhaps he would know that Osama Bin Laden was not in Iraq when we initially attacked, even though his speech seems to suggest otherwise.

“The Democratic Party had given up on Iraq. And I believe, ladies and gentlemen, that when they gave up on Iraq they were giving up on America. The Democratic leader in the Senate said so: ‘This war is lost.’ Well, if America lost, who won? Al-Qaeda? Bin Laden?”

I would like to hear the candidates dispense with the sarcastic tones that they enjoy when listening to Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter. You catch more flies with honey as the saying goes…

Posted by Laura Lee | Report as abusive

The last two go-arounds, Fear was the slogan. Now it’s Hate – and worse yet, Hate those Do-gooders!

Are there any out there who still believe it makes no difference which party is elected?

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

It is clear that the two things I want out of the next President CANNOT and WILL NOT be achieved by either Obama or McCain. And those two things are:

1.The Separation of Church and State

2.The Separation of Corporation and State

Faith-based initiatives conveniently combine church, corporations, and state into one unfair zealot mishmash. Faith-based community organizers also tend to be a tool of the Democrats. I live in the inner-city, so I know first-hand how the Democratic party uses religion, racism, and empty promises(see religion) to dupe uneducated voters into taking their side.

Posted by Kiel | Report as abusive

What the Republicans don’t understand is that community organizers are “self-less” not “selfish”. In other words, they think about themselves “less” and “more” about others.

Posted by adelle | Report as abusive

Seemed to me that Palin was trying to make her skimpy resume sound a little better than Obama’s skimpy resume.

Posted by Modest Iwasiw | Report as abusive

A little sensitive, are we. Community service means what? Who funds these? Where does Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton fit in to all of this?

Let me guess, the taxpayers fund these things, and lawyers and preachers siphon off most of the money.

How much did Obama siphon?

Remember, we are talking about Chicago here. Have any of you walked the streets of Chicago? Talked to the shop owners?

Posted by arrowrod | Report as abusive

Sorry to hear you hate community organizers, arrowrod. That means you hate Paul Revere, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and every man who signed the Declaration of independence, as well as Susan B. Anthony, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Mohandas K. Gandhi, Florence Nightengale, Mother Theresa and Jesus Christ.

Most of these people wouldn’t know a government subsidy if you hit them in the face with it.

Posted by Dottie | Report as abusive

Making fun of other candiates is the way to energize republican base. It tells a lot about the charatcter of GOP politiccians and their BASE!!!

Posted by Adam Habib | Report as abusive

Responding to “arrowrod” who asked:
How much did he “siphon”? Well, he was given an annual salary of $10,000, plus $2000 to buy a car.

and wrote “Let me guess, the taxpayers fund these things, and lawyers and preachers siphon off most of the money.”
The community organizations he worked for were church-funded (at least the Developing Communities Project which he began was), I believe.

What Obama did as a community organizer. es/070826/3obama.htm nation/ny-usobam025598601mar02,1,6933215  ,full.story

Posted by Jean | Report as abusive

Between her and Giuliani’s comments, Romney’s belittling of the poor ( and that the hardest workers in America were those at the top )…

It was sickening to watch this display of pure insensitivity and self-congratulations over a conduct, that they should be ashamed of.

Posted by wolf | Report as abusive

McCain is campaigning on platform of “change.” But Palin sounds exactly like the Republicans of the last 8 years. Where’s the change?

Posted by Hobbes | Report as abusive

great comment arrowhead! I can’t believe that the Dems are supporting Obama’s decision to increase faith-based initiatives. Our tax dollars should be kept out of the hands of corporate-religious groups. There is no way we should be forced through taxes to pay for some “reverend” or “pastor” to preach and convert people to his religion/political party.

Posted by Kiel | Report as abusive

I did find out how much Obama “siphoned” as pay. $10,000 a year. And the programs he worked with got their funding from various private charities and donations.

I’m sure that $10,000 a year in Chicago helped him to live like a king. Why, he was probably able to buy so many houses he couldn’t count them all.

Posted by Dottie | Report as abusive

Had Obama made these horrible remarks – there would be an uproar across America. But the RNC (Really Needs Correcting)has gottten a pass with this publically. It’s sad to believe no matter how much you accomplish or how you try to help others certain people laugh in arrogancy and prejudice. It hurts.

Posted by Brandi | Report as abusive

Community organizing is the root of change. This is why the republicans are mocking Obama and those who get involved. Do you want 4 more years of an administration who makes decisions behind closed doors and tells us that they
don’t need anything from us except blind faith? Obama asks us to get involved and take responsibility in our homes, our communities and our nation. Thats REAL change.

Posted by R Abrams | Report as abusive

Here’s the real deal, Mr. & Mrs. Reader…

Mrs. Palin is a put-down artist. But isn’t that something that comedians do? Well, the delegates thought that she was funny. I did not think so, however. I thought she was kind of alarming…you know…in much the same way that a witch is scary.

From what I’ve heard, Mrs. Palin is not even remotely thick-skinned, i.e., if a politician takes a position that she disagrees with, she takes it personally. That kind of reminds me of Mr. Bush…or…Mr. McCain (although he pretends otherwise). It is also reminiscent of Mr. Nixon. Gosh! Aren’t these intolerant and uncompromising types all republican males? These are the guys who take revenge on you if you cross them. You know, like Mr. Cheney might do…or Mr. Rove.

All political parties have anywhere from 30 to 10 days prior to November 4th to get new voters registered.

Mrs. Palin has energized both the right and the left. However, there are far more in numbers (and much more money) on the left than on the right. This being the case, she will have gotten more new voters (and more new donations) for Mr. Obama than for Mr. McCain. That’s what happens when a sword that cuts both ways is introduced into the political fray.

Mrs. Palin is that two-edged political sword.

By the same token, political parties have little time left to find blemishes on the opposing candidates, i.e., Messrs. Obama/Biden and Mr. McCain/Mrs. Palin.

Millions have been spent to find Mr. Obama’s blemishes.

Millions have been spent to find Mr. McCain’s blemishes as well. Of course, the latter plays the POW card every time he gets the chance–in order to dry up any blemishes that have been found, i.e., to blunt any legitimate criticism of his character or of his record in the U.S. Senate.

Millions are being spent as I write this to find Mrs. Palin’s blemishes. I don’t doubt that they will be found before she debates Mr. Biden on October 2nd.

The question is…will the Obama/Biden campaign expose the blemishes that it finds, e.g., that she supported Alaska’s $200+ million earmarked “bridge to nowhere” during her gubernatorial run in 2006, but now says that she opposed it (that’s the “stupid lie”, i.e., the lie most easily exposed by the media and/or the opposition). I wonder how many other “stupid lies” the respectable and bespectacled Governor Palin has told so far.

Another blemish is that she never bothered to get a U.S. passport and travel outside of the United States (except Canada) before she went to visit Alaska National Guardsmen stationed in Kuwait in 2007. I guess that she got all of her foreign policy experience while Googling.

During that Kuwait trip, one would think that she would have worn something more respectable than a cotton T-shirt while reviewing the positions occupied by her troops. Perhaps she was trying to show them what they would be fighting for, should their positions be attacked. I think Bob Hope frequently used that line when referring to beautiful women who accompanied him on USO tours to war zones during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

There is little doubt that Mrs. Palin is a real looker for a woman in her early forties who has had five children. I’m pretty sure that she is well aware of this fact. She doesn’t wear pants suits or full skirts. It’s the tight skirt, of course, that generally gets the attention of those whose attention requires diverting, i.e., at least most of the men tuning in to her stage appearances.

The most festering blemish that I’ve noticed on Mrs. Palin is her disrespect for me…and tens of millions of voters like me. She disrespects us because she talks to is like we’re stupid. Said another way, she talks down to us. Mrs. Palin is what I would normally call a smart mouth. In other words, she’s got an attitude…and I don’t mean that in a good way.

She really ought to stop riding the patriotic coattails of her teenage boy. If she says even one more time that her kid is being deployed to “Eye-rack” to protect America, I’m going to vomit. That kid doesn’t know which end is up–yet. If in fact his primary military occupational specialty (PMOS) is infantryman…and if in fact he actually ends up being awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB)…before being sent back home to his mama–then I’ll really be surprised.

It is highly unlikely that a McCain/Palin administration will take the risk of the vice president’s teenage son being captured and held for ransom by a bunch of bloodthirsty Muslim Arabs in the middle of Diyala Province.

Of course, there is actually no telling what a couple of fanatical Onward-Judeo/Christian-Soldier types like Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin might do if they had to–in order to attract additional sacrificial lambs to their biblical cause. Yes, I’m referring to the same cause adhered to by Messrs. Bush/Cheney for the past 8 years.

OK Jack

Posted by OK Jack | Report as abusive

Sarah Palin is a joke. It has nothing to do with her party affiliation. She is just a self centered person. It’s amazes me how some people will vote Republican even when a monkey put an (R) by his or her name. We need to contact every tv station in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia to get them to do a story about the importance of community organizers. Vote in November!

Posted by LLarry | Report as abusive

Jesus was a communtiy organizer and Pontius Pilot was a governor…enough said.

grasping at straws ofr the low information voter…A little old goat anf Cheney with a beehive!!!

Posted by Docb | Report as abusive


Posted by D-27 | Report as abusive

I am a Social Worker and a conservative republican. Never did I get a negative feeling of what she said. She was dynamic, I am thinking that no matter what she says some people will find fault to discredit her.

Go McCain and Palin

Posted by KGR | Report as abusive

I guess Obama would have more credibility with Palin if he went the same path as her, via Beauty Pageants.
What a mean spirited sarcastic woman.

Posted by Jim Green | Report as abusive