Word is that McCain had wanted to choose Joe Lieberman as his running mate, and the GOP Powers That Be wouldn’t have it, because Lieberman supports abortion rights. So the “maverick” caved and chose someone else.
I think Lieberman would have been a much more dangerous choice for us than Palin will turn out to be. Joe may be persona non grata on the Left, but I think most people who are not politics nerds, which are most people, don’t understand why us lefties don’t like him. They see him as a moderate bipartisan who talks about Gawd a lot. The choice would have assured people that McCain intends to break with the extremist body of the GOP.
And the Dems sure as hell couldn’t have said he isn’t qualified to be veep.
The next question is, how carefully was Palin vetted? She wasn’t a complete surprise, as I’ve seen her name mentioned a few times in the past several weeks as a possible veep pick. The McCain campaign claims she was well and thoroughly vetted. Josh Marshall has reason to doubt this.
Oliver Willis calls it, I believe:
Increasingly, Iâ€™m beginning to believe the Palin pick is the latest manifestation of John McCainâ€™s impulse control problem, a thread going through his entire life – from cheating on his first wife with Cindy McCain, advocating for war with Iraq right after 9/11, chanting â€œbomb Iranâ€, as well as his numerous flashes of rage both physical and verbal against his congressional colleagues. As Paul Begala notes, McCain picked someone who isnâ€™t up to the job in a way that would endanger us all – and all based on what his ego is feeling at the moment.
There is speculation that Palin will end up being the GOP’s Thomas Eagleton and will be replaced on the ticket before November. I wouldn’t count on that. I think the true believers on the Right will support her and believe her to be an asset to the ticket no matter what happens between now and November.
But that’s OK. Obama will never win those votes, anyway. The real question is, how will independent voters perceive her? Those are the votes Obama needs. And I’m not much worried. As I said, Lieberman would have been much more dangerous.
On the minus side — I understand President Bush will not be attending the RNC convention because of Hurricane Gustav, which disappoints me terribly. But you know how our president likes to take charge and stay on top of things during hurricanes. In fact, McCain questioned whether the convention would be held at all.
“I’m afraid â€¦ that we may have to look at that situation and we’ll try to monitor it,” he told Fox News. “But you know it just wouldn’t be appropriate to have a festive occasion while a near-tragedy or a terrible challenge is presented in the form of a natural disaster. So we’re monitoring it from day to day and I’m saying a few prayers too.”
Yep; wouldn’t be appropriate. Not at all.