Wishes he had chosen Joe Lieberman instead
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has written his memoirs, the upcoming book entitled The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and other Appreciations. As has become increasingly usual, portions of the book are being released prior to its publication.
The New York Times is reporting that McCain writes that he regrets selecting then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (R) as his running mate. Instead, he wishes he had “followed his gut” and chosen then-Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT).
Yet many in Mr. McCain’s own party believe that, by selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008, he bears at least a small measure of blame for unleashing the forces of grievance politics and nativism within the Republican Party.
While he continues to defend Ms. Palin’s performance, Mr. McCain uses the documentary and the book to unburden himself about not selecting Mr. Lieberman, a Democrat-turned-independent, as his running mate.
He recalls that his advisers warned him that picking a vice-presidential candidate who caucused with Democrats and supported abortion rights would divide Republicans and doom his chances.
“It was sound advice that I could reason for myself,” he writes. “But my gut told me to ignore it and I wish I had.”
This is such a bizarre statement. While I like and even admire Lieberman, a left-leaning centrist brought onto a right-leaning centrist’s presidential ticket would have been a disaster even back in ’08.
Before making his announcement of Palin’s addition to his ticket, McCain’s campaign was stalled. He was doing everything wrong, and there was no enthusiasm at all among Republican voters. President Bush, you may recall, was leaving office with truly abysmal numbers: at one point, his approval was just 25%. McCain, though he tried to distance himself from Bush, was tied to him by his own voting record in the Senate.
Between his campaign bleeding aides and even his campaign manager and his confounding refusal to address Obama’s many many weaknesses and scandalous associations, McCain was on the fast-track to an historic drubbing.
It wasn’t until McCain named Palin as his VP that he took the lead against Obama for the first time. A lot has happened since then, but flash back to 2008 and Palin’s acceptance of the Vice Presidential spot on the Republican ticket.
To this day I remember watching it and literally jumping up off my couch shouting “Yeah!” and clapping my hands together and beaming with joy. I hadn’t leaped off my couch in response to a speech before and haven’t since. She was electrifying.
Everyone knew she was a game changer for McCain’s flailing presidential campaign. She can barely start her speech because the convention was so enthusiastic and joyous. And the left was mortified.
As we later learned, the leftist media was so deeply concerned about Palin that they ramped up Journolist to brainstorm ways of bringing her down. What followed was one of the most vile, disgusting smear campaigns in recent memory, and it was rooted in their admiration of Palin.
The Daily Caller reported in 2010:
Sarah Palin’s speech to the 2008 Republican convention impressed more than a few doubters, including even some members of Journolist, an online community for liberal journalists.
“This speech is gangbusters,” wrote Ari Melber of the Nation. “Her tone is pitch perfect.” Adele Stan of the Media Consortium agreed: “Palin is golden.”
While LI had not yet been founded at the time, the prof had some choice words about the coordinated media attacks on Palin:
I’ve posted repeatedly that Palin holds a special position because there is no one — not even George W. Bush — who has been the subject of the Democratic, mainstream media and left-blogosphere smear machine to the extent Palin has.
If you have noticed, I am very intolerant of cheap shots and snide comments directed at Sarah Palin, particularly when those cheap shots and snide comments come from conservative bloggers and Republican politicians.
Perhaps I react this way because when Palin Derangement Syndrome first struck this blog was not yet established, and I just stewed. In many ways, PDS — along with Obamamania — was the motivating factor in my creating this blog in October 2008.
Palin was frustrated with the McCain campaign because after she injected a much-needed boost they refused to let her speak her mind about Obama.
Real Clear Politics reported in 2013:
SARAH PALIN: We show what happened, back in 2008, I believe that’s when it started, when the media decided to just go along to get along with Obama, ingratiating themselves with him and vice versa. What we saw was these attempts to destroy these whistleblowers, those who were telling the truth, even in the campaign. Those who were bringing up the name Jeremiah Wright and the racist church he leads that Obama was a member of for over 20 years.
Though I was during the campaign running for VP, I was banned from talking about Jeremiah Wright and Obama’s friend, Bill Ayers, the character that he befriended and kicked off his political campaign in the guy’s living room. Couldn’t talk about that. Couldn’t talk about Obama’s lack of knowledge and job experience and the things that he said like America had 57 states, things like that.
In the campaign, Greta, this is important for Americans to understand. I was not allowed to talk about things like that because those elitists, those who are the brainiacs in the GOP machine running John McCain’s campaign at the time said that the media would eat us alive if we brought up these things. So what did that get us? That got us this kind of complacency and self-censoring of a campaign where we weren’t allowed to tell the truth about who this kind candidate was, Barack Obama. What it got us was a list of these scandals. This is kind of a redneck version of one of those elitist tactics of Karl Rove, how he uses his white board. This a redneck version of a whiteboard. And on this list, the scandals that are destroying America, Greta.
In light of the eventual outcome of the 2008 election, McCain regrets choosing Palin and thinks he should have selected Lieberman. The problem with that, however, is that it was Palin who stepped up and made his campaign even remotely viable. Lieberman would have been fine and steady, but he would never have salvaged McCain’s campaign against Obama, only Palin could have done that . . . had she been permitted to do so.DONATE
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