Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Apropos of apparently nothing, Paul Bedard, the "Washington Whispers" blogger for U.S. News, put up a post yesterday called "Did McCain Botch the Sarah Palin Pick?" No, it's not another recounting of Palin's most embarrassing moments on the trail -- it's more or less the opposite. A couple of anonymous sources have, er, whispered to Bedard that McCain screwed up by overlooking all the good Palin could have done for McCain, if her genius hadn't gone unrecognized:

...Now I'm hearing from key Republicans on Capitol Hill and GOP pollsters who believe that the McCain campaign should have put her out to talk about energy and political independence -- her two best issues -- instead of making her the conservative attack dog.

Said one pollster: "The McCain campaign took this person and completely botched her assets." What's more, the pollster said that in Palin, the McCain campaign had an expert on one of the key issues that was on the minds of Americans: energy prices. "They should have used her knowledge and focus on her expertise." And the pollster said on background that the campaign should have played up her reputation as a political maverick.

Instead, the campaign "took her and turned her into an attack dog and she wasn't good at it." And it hurt her national image, with one internal GOP poll putting her positive to negative image at 48 percent to 48 percent....

Why did these people decide to "whisper" this now? Who is orchestrating this stuff?

I don't know, but I feel we're going to get a totally gratuitous pro-Palin media leak every few days until she declares for president a couple of years from now. There's a Palin machine out there, and it's revved up.

Oh, and by the way, the anonymous pollster says the McCain campaign "should have played up her reputation as a political maverick"? Didn't McCain say she was a maverick several thousand times? Wasn't he forever telling us about the refreshing maverickitude of her gubernatorial record? Wasn't that the central message of the campaign's advertising at one point? Could he have possibly made that point more often?

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