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Inside the Mind of John McCain: On Picking Palin

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) held forth today on his decision to choose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

John McCain is not a man who likes to be psychoanalyzed.

So, when he gets reflective -- even for a short time -- it's worth noting. Especially when the topic is Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), the much loved and much despised vice presidential nominee McCain made a star when he plucked her from obscurity in early September.

McCain made his comments during a press conference with local Arizona reporters in which, among other things, he intimated his plans to run for reelection to the Senate in 2010.

Said McCain:

"Well, primarily, it was her qualifications, her reform agenda. She took on and defeated an incumbent governor of her own party. She had attacked corruption that she saw there in Alaska. She was a mayor.

She understands very well, as well as anyone, the energy challenges that are probably, along with our other economic challenges, one of the greatest challenges we've faced.

And I knew that -- frankly, that she would be an energizing factor, because she energized me and the impressions that I had of her and the meetings that I had with her.

So I just -- I just believe that, you know, also, outside the beltway was important. Americans have a very low opinion, very low approval rating of Congress and things that are happening in Washington."

Question answered.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 25, 2008; 4:25 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Obama's Ad Dominance Reaffirmed
Next: Wag the Blog Redux: Media Bias?


Just plain DANGEROUS! Can anyone rationally justify dividing the US into "pro" and what.... "anti" America or "real" and what...."fake" Americans ? If elected, were the fake and anti Americans going to some Guantanamo-like facility to be waterboarded until they complied? Or, were they to be deported to some place called Fake-Anti America ? C'mon Joe-Six pack, you were being used, played, and manipulated. Take the beer goggles off and realize we are all Americans and we should not be insulted in such a manner that pits us against each other. Let's not fall for the "them-against-us", hate talk and work together for a better America.

Posted by: nick13 | December 1, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

All of you hateful, intolerant, escapees from the circus freakshow, liberal cretins better get used to seeing Sarah in the years to come.

In the comments we see "loving", "caring", "bi-partisan" libs who HATE a woman they have only heard of for about 12 WEEKS (!) and are AFRAID of her because she is a THREAT to what these complete lib idealogues represent.

Sara Palin will rescue the country from Barry, the Centrist (you marxists just hate that!) in 2012.

Posted by: falcngnzx2 | December 1, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

John McCain believed in Sara's embellished speech of what she did in Alaska and she was not vetted so he had no clue that she was not telling the truth. His foolish mistake was taking a strangers word. John should be looked upon as respectful, older and wiser but picking her knocked that down. She was fine for the uneducated, backward person and no doubt why she was used in those small towns all the time. But even many of them walked away saying she was stupid. But women do not do well in these areas anyway. So they hike her skirt up and do her hair all fancy with extensions no doubt and paint her makeup on and she looks good and that is all they had to rely on. A lot of people came out to see the "show" is all that was. But McCain was not a well liked person to begin with.

Posted by: mac7 | November 29, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

If this interview passes for being inside McCain's brain on WHY Palin, then I'm terrified. If he had ever looked 'under the covers' at her vaunted efforts against corrpution, he'd have found that she resigned from a position she didn't want (and couldn't do) to earn her stripes as a reformer. If McCain had ever seen Wasilla and the current mayor (on The Daily Show), he would have begged Palin to step down. (WHAT managerial experience as mayor?) She's a joke; he was snookered; and conservatives got what they deserved: a joke of a V.P. because they (including McCain) cynically thought ANY woman would do in the job (a position McCain had spoken of disparagingly during the campaign).

The problem for the Repugs is that they have released the proverbial 'genie' from the bottle and doughheads out there think she's "refreshing" when in fact Palin is dumber that dirt, anti-intellectual and definitely lacking in either policy or platform. As a Democrat, I PRAY the RNC puts her forward as a presidential candidate because the Democrats need an 8-year run to FIX the mess that Republicans have inflicted on us.

Posted by: bweyand1 | November 28, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

"Read some of these posts—they can not stop trashing Palin."

First, it's not hate, it's just ridiculing a very bad pick of a very unusual VP selection. Palin proved - and she did this herself - to have a relatively underwhelming intellect, very little curiosity, and none of the qualities we look for in our national leaders.

It's not trashing her to say that, though you might think so. The truth, as it has been said, hurts. And as a Democrat, nothing pleases me more than talk of Palin as the 2012 candidate. I can think of nothing else that would so firmly guarantee a second Obama term! Remember - The GOP base loves her, but the rest of America (the REAL America) found her wanting.

Posted by: kemp13 | November 28, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the questions is answered at all. He gave an answer, but it belies all of the reports that in his heart he wanted Lieberman, and he was "persuaded" by his handlers to pick somebody with more conservative credentials.

Palin cost him votes, but more importantly Palin cost him his maverick bona fides. He bent to the will of the extreme right wing of the GOP (otherwise known as "the GOP"), with which he had often been in disagreement with. Yet he capitulated. He waved the white flag of surrender. And his campaign became a folly from that point forward.

In five or ten years he'll be honest enough with himself to admit his mistake.

Posted by: kemp13 | November 28, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Palin is fascinating to the religious fanatics and to white supremacists. Her campaign rallies like the one in Clearwater, Florida should have concluded with the line from the Klan meeting in "Oh, Brother. Where art thou?", which is:

" And so... we gonna hang us a neegra!"

In reality, the crowd actually yelled "kill him". Keep this nut in Alaska. She's irresponsible and dangerous

Posted by: seemstome | November 28, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

37th...You sound just like the rest of the sore losers. You maybe happier posting on the foxnews board.

Posted by: kayebradley | November 28, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: kayebradley | November 28, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Isn't everyone overlooking one very obvious reason Sen. McCain picked Gov. Palin? NO ONE ELSE (with any intelligence)would take the job!

I'm just surprised and happy that both major candidates didn't drop out once housing and the economy tanked a few weeks before the election. Given how dire the economic situation became, I wondered why anyone would want the job, which became much like the guy with the shovel following the elephant in the parade.

Posted by: bulldog6 | November 27, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

37th: What makes you think your car was keyed because you are a Republican? I'd say it was keyed by someone who knows you personally.

Posted by: ericmiami42 | November 27, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin has both values and class.... That seems to be a rarity of late. I'm sure she'll be back. I hope she is.

Posted by: TraceyfromCanada | November 26, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Well, I have to agree with Sn. McCain on the reasons he picked Sarah, she most assuredly DOES present an "energizing-factor"..and that resonates south of my belt buckle for fact.

Posted by: Hub2 | November 26, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Aside from Governor Palin's ability to read a teleprompter and give a stump speech, I could see nothing that she had to offer. My husband who is a strong Republican voted straight Democrat in Kentucky this time and I can't remember him ever doing that. He didn't care for John McCain, the poorly run campaign which changed from day to day, and like me, he couldn't stand Sarah Palin. She never demonstrated a basic working knowledge of basic civics, economics, foreign affairs, and what's worse, she didn't know what she didn't know. She was clueless and she was not curious about things a world leader should be curious about. I am a lot more liberal than my husband, but this year, we were in political sync, for once. I hate to think that John McCain has opened a Pandora's Box with Sarah Palin, but I fear we are not only stuck with her, but we will be watching her and the likes of Newt Gingrich and others of their ilk battle for power.

While my politics may differ from Pawlenty, Jindal, and Crist, I do think they are smart and I hope that they are able to guide the Republican Party in the future. That will make it more competitive for the Democrats and I am a Democrat, but it will give us better, more qualified, competent candidates to choose from.

Posted by: savannahlover53 | November 26, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

And that, folks, is your turkey-gobbler for 2008, served sans gravy and with lots of peas if not peace.

Posted by: boesc | November 26, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

He did not vet anyone on his "short list" i.e.,Pawlenty/Jindal stated by each one.
palin is cipher. She will not be elected in Alaska again. People were mortified that she representted them
mccain will not win in '10.

Posted by: katerinaDeligiannis | November 26, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Sen. John McCain has made his one of the biggest mistake in his entire life to bring this beauty queen Srarah Pelin as his VP. This was not a poker game or beauty contest. This election was about to appoint the best person as our Commander in Chief. This has costed presidency to Sen.John McCain. I hope he has learned the lesson from his mistake.

Posted by: akber_kassam | November 26, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

37thandOStreetRules, just regurgitates the bile that talking heads such as Rush Limbuagh spew. All posts by this person are just intellectlually lazy. Absurd and not supported by any facts.
Funny how these types love intellectually lazy politicians like ole W & the buffoon Sarah Palin.

Posted by: justmeandnikki | November 26, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

well, at least we know it wasn't mad cow disease as McCain is immune. Seems if you have had it.... you are immune from getting it again.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | November 26, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

The thought processes (if such they are) of diehard opponents of President-Elect Obama are utterly inscrutable. As Alice said, curioser and curioser!

"A decision to opt out of the campaign finance system which has served this nation well PLUS a decision to turn off the verification features of a website credit card software DOES NOT A MANDATE MAKE.", pouts 37th&O!

Quite right, 37th. Obama's mandate is based on victory in the contest for electoral college votes, and ultimately, the tens of millions of ordinary Americans who voted for him. Many of us, to your apparent consternation, also supported his campaign with donations...often with small donations (less than $50 in my case... the first time I've EVER given money to a presidential campaign... and I consider it very well-spent).

Get over it, 37th. As ineffective as your puerile whining was BEFORE the election, do you really imagine that it accomplishes anything at all now (beyond amusing your adversaries)?

Posted by: Iconoblaster | November 26, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I wish the media had shone a light on the true Palin of Alaska If they had pointed out what thinking people discovered about her so called anti-corruption stance, the McCain/Palin ticket would have lost by even greater numbers. That is not hating Gov Palin. If hearing the truth is so painful for her supporters, I'm sorry, go back to your protected sources of info.

Sold the state jet on ebay and made a profit - not so good with the truth. Took on corruption - while spreading her own with cronyism, anti-socialist, what is the redistributing of wealth from big oil? Supported the bridge before she was against it? The list goes on.

As mayor she took a solvent local government and left it in the red with an over priced sports arena that is still in the red. As gov she has bilked the state out of money over and over again by taking her children on trips where they were not on the guest list. She has also taken money from the state by charging the state for time she stays at home rather than the gov's mansion. She uses state employees as baby sitters and after she made the big deal about firing the chef, rehired someone for the same job with a different title.

If we want to go beyond how she does her job as Gov and mayor, how about her decision making skills. How about her decision last winter when her amniotic fluid began to leak, instead of seeking a local doctor or hospital, she gave a speech, boarded a plane (without notifying anyone that she was in early stages of labor) changed planes then drove to Wasila to give birth. What kind of right thinking person does that when they already know they have a complicated pregnancy? What right thinking person drags their children all over the country from campaign stop to campaign stop without even providing a tutor?

So, Gov Palin from my estimation is more qualified to govern if your idea of a qualified candidate is someone in the mold of President Bush.

None of my criticisms of the governor has anything to do with her sex, it has to do with how she is doing her current job.

Posted by: Charming1 | November 26, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Palin energized the shrinking Evangelical Social Conservative base of the Republican party. There are too many other pressing problems that take priority over pro-life, gun ownership, and gay marriage issues which are the core of the Social Conservative Republicans.

When nothing is going wrong with the country - the economy is fine, there are no active wars to fight people turn the spotlight on the social issues of pro life and gay rights. This then becomes a problem because then we take our eye off of what matters national security and the economy. We should expect our elected leaders in good times and bad times to keep their eye on the economy and national security.

Posted by: Nevadaandy | November 26, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"The prospect of Obama winning caused the economic crisis.

Then the economic crises made it even more probable that Obama would win, like a spiral downward toward HELL.

Obama is a disaster - the very idea of Obama in the White House caused a stock market crash.

The guy is an affirmative action disaster. What are you people thinking????"

37thandOStreetRules - your "observations" are too funny! Obama, in effect, caused the stock market to crash? Not billions and billions of derivative based stock market actions, not the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, not high gas prices, etc. but Barack Obama becoming POTUS caused the stock market to crash.

I'm not sure what is truly scarier; your utter obtuseness relative to this issue or that you presumably possess the legal right to vote even though you appear incapable of digesting known economic facts and drawing a logical conclusion?

I pity you sir. Hopefully you are not as economically destitute as your are intellectually destitute.

Posted by: ferventfan74 | November 26, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Or keep standing on 37th and O with your "The world is ending!" sign. Perhaps even secretly hope that something terrible happens to validate your fears.

It's ok... we believe you...really... (pat pat)

Posted by: trident420 | November 26, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse


You are out of touch. You continue (the election is over by the way) to spout off "qualifications" arguments about Obama. I ask you - as many others have - to show me the statistical data that PROVES great qualifications make a great president.

Actually, don't. Ill provide it for you.

Obama won, the media gave him airtime because that's what people wanted to watch. They gave him coverage because people wanted to know more about him.

Delude YOURSELF some more. prehaps take in a little graphical representation of how wrong you are.

The stock market was crashing well before Obama won the election. And if investors are so afraid, then why did the market jump when Obama made his economic team picks?

Ill let you know why. Its because you enjoy pretending you are right, and inferring whatever makes you feel better. I have read your vitriol all year, and quite frankly, you need to lay off until the man has actually done something as president for you to be angry at.

Posted by: trident420 | November 26, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse





A decision to opt out of the campaign finance system which has served this nation well PLUS a decision to turn off the verification features of a website credit card software DOES NOT A MANDATE MAKE.

That added up to the additional commercials on television which produced the extra votes.

This country did not evaluate the two candidates on any rational basis.

The economy of this nation IS NOW AT RISK because we have someone with no economic or business experience except for buying cocaine on the street.

The National Security of this nation is NOW AT RISK because we have someone with zero defense or foreign policy experience and someone who harbors naive notions that "cut and run" policies will lead to the long-term security of this nation.





Posted by: 37thandOStreetRules | November 26, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I think, like any decision, picking Palin had pluses and minuses. It gave the angry left someone to hate, and, boy, do they hate. Read some of these posts—they can not stop trashing Palin. They are like the Muslims who hate the Danish cartoonists, and for the same reason. The angry liberals are the secular liberals who have replaced religion with liberal orthodoxy in their lives. Policy can be discussed, but dogma never. They do not just disagree with Palin and McCain, they hate them as non-believers. If offered the chance to stone Palin to death, the left would turn out by the thousands, in angry, self-righteous fury, and think killing her fully justified, as Muslims did when they stoned a 13 year old rape victim recently. Really. Just as they trash Bush for damaging the constitution, but see nothing wrong with stealing McCain lawn signs, or keying cars with Republican bumper stickers (mine was one). Anyone who has a different world view is stupid or evil, and non-believers do not deserve freedom of speech.

But now that Barack the Unready has selected a free-market oriented economic team, a Clinton-third-term White House Team, is talking about keeping surge-supporter Gates on at Defense, getting a Secretary of State who voted for the Iraq War, and hiring McCain-Supporter Gen. Jones as National Security Advisor, maybe all that left-wing talk was just to line up the gullible left behind him, and he is going to govern reasonably.

How long before starts running ads trashing Obama as the Bush-Clinton Third Term?

Posted by: tartanmarine | November 26, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

This article is merely a ploy to keep Palin in the limelight, when she deserves the dark winter nights of Alaska to spare us all from sight of her!

Posted by: 2Funny | November 26, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

> "She had attacked corruption that she saw there in Alaska."
> "I just believe that, you know, also, outside the beltway was important. "

OMG, now HE's even starting to talk like her! Wait, let me rephrase that in Palinese:

"Noting too that, when speaking, and answering questions, an activity there that is after all probably like, a necessary and unavoidable thing for someone - anyone, really - who seeks to serve our great country, of which both Alaska and Arizona are states of, and proud, also using the style there of those where so many Americans, good honest REAL Americans, have become accustomed of, he is just, you know, improving his reach out to the people, of which he was always invested in. And honest too."

Posted by: cdm99 | November 26, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

If someone had to go down with him, this was a good choice; why ruin someone else's career. Palin did a great job of attracting people to rallies and may have actually won some votes; however she made such a fool of herself without much help from the media that I cannot defend her.

Many of us, who voted for the ticket, were still appalled by her lack of basic knowledge - not ready now, not ready ever!

McCain would have been the nominee years ago, if we thought he was electable - Palin's a non-issue (in so many ways).

Posted by: newbeeboy | November 26, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who continues to say that Obama isn't qualified simply isn't paying attention.

The manner in which he is preparing to take office - "hit the ground running" is inspiring and is surely reassuring to anyone who may have had doubts about his leadership and abilities.

He is carefully and wisely choosing immenently qualified people to run the executive branch.

No president-elect in my memory (I'm a 73 year-old white woman) has ever done a better job preparing to assume office.

In view of the way John McCain fumbled his campaign and Sarah Palin exhibited such ignorance about the fundamentals of all aspects of the federal government, I shudder to think what might be going on if that pair had won.

I personally think that John McCain is either dissembling when he says that Sarah Palin is an expert on energy or he himself is exhibiting an astounding lack of knowledge on the subject.

The only thing Palin proposed was drilling more oil wells in the "state of which I am the governor of."

Posted by: eldora | November 26, 2008 2:29 AM | Report abuse

I will be glad when Governor Palin is removed from our dialoue when we are speaking of national politics. McCain is not honest nor forthcoming regarding his choice and we may never know. More disturbing, I see she still has her supporters, read these posts. Her only claim to fame is that she reenergized those who hide their hate and racism under the cloak of such phrases as "unqualified" and "unclear associations" when referring to President Elect Obama. I have tried to find something positive and goood to say about her but I cannot. Her ideaology is fine with me...she is an American and has a right to that...what I find disgusting is her devisive rheoteric. As an African - American, I feel sad that I forgot that "they" (her kind) are still out there. I cried when I first started reading their comments or seeing the clips from her rallies (search on YouTube ~ the one with supporters shouting their opposition to an "expletive" in the White House is especially chilling ~ IN OUR COUNTRY!!!). I pray that her and her kind will become a distant memory and WE will heal from the damage that they have inflicted.

Posted by: NoMoreFour | November 26, 2008 1:52 AM | Report abuse


Yes it is Media Bias

However, for some reason this country wanted to ignore:

1) A reasoned evaluation of WHO is the BEST person to lead the economy of this nation

2) A reasoned evaluation of WHO is the BEST person to lead the foreign policy of this nation.

For some reason, there was a "kick" in this country to make some "affirmative action statement" - there was a notion that "all the nations of the world would love us if we elected a black"

All these ideas are completely silly.

Obama is not even close to the best person to lead the ecnomoy or foreign policy.

Obama is not even close to be qualified.

Obama is not even close to having the experience necessary for the position.

The people of this country have experienced some kind of mass insanity to chance the security of this nation on this affirmative action guy who just recently quit doing cocaine.

Go ahead. Delude yourselves some more.

It is as if the country was just electing a figure-head, that there were no decisions to be made, as if nothing was riding on having a capable person in the office of President.





Posted by: 37thandOStreetRules | November 25, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse





The economy tanked because the Wall Street insiders realized that Obama was going to win, impose high taxes, bloated government programs and the Wall Street insiders decided to get out NOW.

The prospect of Obama winning caused the economic crisis.

Then the economic crises made it even more probable that Obama would win, like a spiral downward toward HELL.

Obama is a disaster - the very idea of Obama in the White House caused a stock market crash.

The guy is an affirmative action disaster. What are you people thinking????





Posted by: 37thandOStreetRules | November 25, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

"The GOP has been reduced to the regional party of the deep south

and Appalachia."

I wouldn't even bet on much of the Deep South for long. North Carolina and Florida have already broken ranks with the GOP. I live in Georgia, and the Republican edifice here has already started to rattle and creak.

The fact is the GOP has become the party of the wingnut right. And even down here that approach has very limited legs.

Posted by: larryfeltonjohnson | November 25, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Sen. McCain ought to be ashamed of himself: not only for being on the government payroll while heading a senate commerce committee and not preparing for or learning from that experience, but more so for his reckless, cynical choice of Gov Palin as running mate.

Anybody with an ounce of common sense knows that she wasn't properly vetted and was not qualified.

That 46% of the country still voted for McCain/Palin dramatically underscores the twin challenges this country faces with regards to education reform and to dealing with the human condition of ignorance. China and India are going to eat our lunch if we don't wise up. Soon.

And those of you Republicans who continue to support ignorance are not Patriots, but idiots who are selling your kids - and their futures - down the river.

Posted by: jrob822 | November 25, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I believe that answer can be interpreted as, "It was a temporary vacuum of the intellect". Hey: all of us have our bad days and weeks: it just happened to be John's turn this time. Yours sincerely, Daryl Atamanyk

Posted by: DarylAtamanyk | November 25, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

OHIOCITIZEN wrote, in part, "she wound up spending much of her time highlighting and discussing divisive social and cultural issues and constantly appearing negative in her approach."

This would not be an accident, methinks, coming from a woman who prays for God to show her a cracked door so that she can batter her way through. This woman is evangelical, or pentecostal (I don't think *she* knows which, and doubt she could explain the difference) Protestant first, and anything else second.

Posted by: officermancuso | November 25, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Of course the problem was that McCain's staff failed to adequately investigate Palin's knowledge of issues beyond those related to Alaska and to alert the nominee that Palin was woefully uninformed about national and international issues which would undoubtedly be raised during the Presidential campaign.

It may have been the lack of knowledge on issues of major import which contributed to Palin becoming such a polarizing force. Since she knew little about any important issues other than energy, and even on energy her stance was one that was rather traditional in being pro-fossil fuel, less oriented toward renewable and alternative energy sources, she wound up spending much of her time highlighting and discussing divisive social and cultural issues and constantly appearing negative in her approach.

She spent far more time on the trail attacking Obama than in making the positive case for McCain. If you examine Biden's campaign trail appearances you are likely to find a more even balance between attack-mode and positive reinforcer of Obama's message.

It's true that it was easier for Obama and Biden, as the challengers, to effectively tie the case against Republicans and their own positive change message together. McCain/Palin had a much greater challenge of having to present a case for themselves as meriting a third consecutive Republican Presidential term while also trying to make a negative case against Obama and Biden, and demonstrate conclusively that they would reject the unpopular Bush legacy.

No Republican could have won election in 2008. Bush's failed Presidency was just too much for any Republican to overcome.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | November 25, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

floof wrote, "woman, not women. Pardon the typo."

I kinda liked your typo, "I thought it was pretty well known why he picked her... he wanted a women".

There's a kind of anarchist grammar at work in your original comment. Anyhow, be well!

Posted by: officermancuso | November 25, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Of course Sen. McCain will keep parroting that he thinks Sarah did a great job of energizing ultra-hardcore Republicans. Of course Sen. McCain will keep parroting that he's 'very proud' of Sarah (as is his usual other standard comment). Sen. McCain used Sarah as a publicity stunt and he's gentleman enough to pretend otherwise. It allows Sarah some sense of dignity and it's what Sen. McCain owes Sarah.

Posted by: hungry4it | November 25, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

"I felt confident that she was guaranteed to win me the erection-- er-- election!"

Posted by: pennycentury | November 25, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

woman, not women. Pardon the typo.

Posted by: floof | November 25, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Most significant part of the whole comment: "...frankly, she energized me."

You betcha.

Posted by: watchbird1 | November 25, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was pretty well known why he picked her... he wanted a women, and the majority of the high-profile republican women in congress are pro-choice, or at least not consistantly pro-life. If he picked one of them, he risked alienating the right-wing of the party.

Posted by: floof | November 25, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

When McCain gets around to really telling us what occasioned Palin's inclusion on the ticket, I'll be all ears. This drivel about her reformer status, her mavericktude would make sense if she had not been a major backer of the Bridge to Nowhere starting when McCain brought it up as the hallmark of earmarks. Did McCain forget that she hired a lobbyist to promote earmarks for her town?
McCain is not about to admit she was crammed down his throat, because the only way he had a chance of not totally flaming out in the election was to keep the red-meat/Real Americans in the fold. Mission Accomplished. But War Lost.

Posted by: gratianus | November 25, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

McCain: "...that she would be an energizing factor, because she energized me..."

Yeah, I'll bet she did. Today, of course, all of America has come to feel the same way about Palin as McCain did: glad to see the back of her.

Posted by: raycrossley | November 25, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

The Republican base - the 28% of the population that still approves of Bush/Cheney - may see Palin as a breath of fresh air but the rest of us see the same old divisiveness, self-interest, and hateful ideology that permeates the right wing. Instead of the usual angry rich old white guys, we have an angry rich young white woman spewing the same lies and propaganda.

Only head-in-the-sand Republicans can't see how their agenda has wrecked America; how the American people stood up to the rich and powerful and took back our Democracy.

Palin's rise in the Republican party simply proves that the neocons are not moving forward with the rest of us.

Posted by: bamccampbell | November 25, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh hey, come on, a little politicosence is due here. Let her run in 2012 -- it'll mess up the Repugs gloriously, and if she actually does win, whoever the Democratic candidate is won't have any trouble. I assume it will be Obama. Poor Sapalin: She'll disappear into the mud she'll be trying to sling -- again.

But let's face it, this goofy comment comes from my continual smiling since November 4th. Happy Days as another great Democrat gave us!

Posted by: dicesare1 | November 25, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Let's take McCain's remarks one by one.

1. Her reform agenda in Alaska, she attacked corruption. Here you have McCain's simplistic moral universe in which real people represent the forces of integrity against the forces of corruption. Sorry Senator, politics just isn't like that. Were a person to offer politics in a painting, they'd need a palette of grays.

2. Her mastery of energy challenges. Well, she advocates for policies which will help her state's biggest industry generate more revenue, and she also advocates for policies which lead to state government getting more revenue from them, on top of the revenues which currently lead to every citizen of Alaska receiving a welfare check courtesy of the oil industry.

3. She energized the Senator. Well folks he's an old flyboy who loves nothing better than a perky, pretty cheerleader, and he found one - you betcha.

- Democrats for Palin '08 for the purpose of ensuring that Obama is elected to two terms

Posted by: officermancuso | November 25, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

The GOP has been reduced to the regional party of the deep south

and Appalachia.

Calling the GOP a major party is an oxymoron.

They will continue to lose Senate Seats in 2010 and a bunch of

House seats too.

Posted by: bobnsri | November 25, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

McCain really is a fool. That he could be a major party nominee is just abysmal. And Palin is dwarfed in comparison to McCain.

This stuff has been in the Republican party for a long time. Bush senior selecting Quale. And, quite frankly, even Ronald Reagan, who was a monumental genius by McCain standards, was in fact fairly simple-minded.

Hopefully Obama will begin a new era of smart people in office (imitation), whatever their political views.

Posted by: jchaus | November 25, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what was McCain's relationship with Frank Murkowski, when he was chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a McCain colleague. Palin knocked Murkey, the sitting Republican Gov., off the branch in a primary, and perhaps McCain was delighted about that.
Plus, Palin has terrific cheekbones, and is As a guy 8 years McCain's junior, I can understand being bewitched by her. Cindy McCain is a dish, but she seems kinda stiff, porcelain in fact, compared to Palin's animal energy and vivacity.
Sexual attraction is a fact of human life, so I wouldn't discount it in McCain's choice of Palin as a running "mate." Maybe not the definitive value, but probably a part of the mix.

Posted by: kmaize | November 25, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

McCain was down 8 points before the convention and up 8 points after picking palin.

It was his own incompetence and the determination of the media to have their candidate elected that lost the election.

Posted by: pkhenry | November 25, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I still prefer Kathleen Parker's less noble theory.

Posted by: davidscott1 | November 25, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

"Question Answered", Chris? Your first poster summed up this blog entry by pointing out that this has been McCain's stock answer since Day One of the Half-Baked Alaska debacle. Anyone who's been non-comatose for the past few months knows that the English-speaking Taliban members that make up the GOP base foisted Palin on him and said, "pick her or we don't show up".

You know that politicians say things sometimes that they don't - I don't know how to put this gently - exactly mean sincerely, do you not? Have you never heard about that unfortunate part of the job description? Well, you have now.

Posted by: B2O2 | November 25, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Well, that is fairly accurate and seems to sum it up. A few paragraphs "inside" McCain's mind about Palin. A pretty complex topic. I think that is about as far as McCain can go...and did with his vetting. What a joke.

Posted by: dorklord | November 25, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

This isn't news, unless The Fix was merely looking for an excuse to post a new Palin pic, with some slightly more tousled than normal hair.
This photo wasn't taken by Room Service serving her breakfast in her hotel room in Miami.

It was taken at the Republican conference as she spoke to everyone. It's the image she chose to present to the world.

No more excuses about what she says, what she wears, how she acts. If all we are going to get are rationalizations and excuses for her personna then she will lose every time.

Find a legitimate candidate to run next time. Toto, we aren't in Alaska anymore.

Posted by: patrick10 | November 25, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

On November 4th, election day, I watched Obama sarcastically denigrate McCain's "flip flop" on repealing Bush's tax cuts.

Nineteen days later, this past Sunday, I watched two of Obama's top advisors address the nation on the "need" to keep those same cuts in place.

Therefore, I've already had enough of Senator Obama whose only plan, apparently, is to spend more money and maintain the illusion of prosperity as long as he can, while calling it a "success."

Meanwhile, our energy future, upon which everything is ultimately dependent, wanders along the wilderness with no clear plan.

I'll take Sarah Palin anyday.

Posted by: MichaelATX | November 25, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm here Exploring the Mind of McCain!

There seems to be lots of Potential-It seems hardly used!

The lights are on, BUT, is anyone Home?





MY GOD! He MUST actually be a Dimocrat! ;~(

Posted by: SAINT---The | November 25, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

She was a reformer. And a Mayor. And her *ss. Did you see that *ss? Like Joe Lieberman ever looked that good? That's what I call reform!

Posted by: Attucks | November 25, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it was his MIND that he was thinking with!

Posted by: leaand2 | November 25, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

What question was answered? A better question might have have been "are you insane?" Or "you just wasted your lifelong goal to run for president on an ignorant neophyte, why?"

Posted by: havok26 | November 25, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is much more qualified to be president than Obama.
This is amusing to see. A comment like this almost appears to be some reverberation from 6 or 8 weeks ago. I assume the writer just arrived on the monthly Mars-Earth transporter?

I watch Obama run these press conferences and watch the dust settle on who his choices are for his team. Especially in light of the dire situation we are in. And I wonder how McCain would be reacting to all this had he won the election. For that matter, however pointless it is, how would Palin react?

Of course I am a hardcore Obama lover. And love watching him work his way through the transistion phase of his predicency. He appears to be amazing. His organizational ability and perception of priorities is just so heartening to watch.

Could McCain/Palin appear to be this much in control, this much aware of what is really going on? I don't think so. McCain never gave me the impression he wanted to get technically involved in running the country. He seemed more in the fold of George W. Bush. Hey, wouldn't it be fun to be president. And frankly Palin wasn't any better. Sure, I'll be your VP. How fun! What do I have to do? Let's go for it and find out what happens.

I think McCain is probably a pretty nice guy when he isn't managed by others. But it's not the 1950's any more. Obama is appearing to be a natural at what he is doing. He exudes confidence, awareness, aqnd foresight. Obama has the ability to communicate with technicians and us regular voters alike. And these qualities are crucial to him in enabling his presidency to manage everything he must overcome.

He seems to be turning out to be not just the other choice. But to be an excellent choice. But for those who can't seem to see this, please move to the back of the bus and enjoy the ride. I for one am enjoying the journey.

Posted by: patrick10 | November 25, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Palin has G*d on her side. She visited a turkey farm, gave clemencey to one turkey, and two turkeys came out alive.

Posted by: lynnlm | November 25, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Considering McCain's options at the time, I still think Palin was the best who would take the offer. There has been a lot of commenting on what she cost him, but it ignores what she gained him. Before she was selected, McCain rallies looked like concert scenes from the end of This Is Spinal Tap: not well attended. She motivated people to volunteer, to talk to their friends and neighbors and as he said, bring a level of energy to the campaign. Basically, his choices were losing and losing really bad and he only lost.

Posted by: caribis | November 25, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

None of those 'reasons' make her qualified for the White House. She was unvetted and she was a reckless, dangerous and desperate choice. She energized the worst parts of the Republican Party and may still be known as the founder of the New American Fascist Party. It would be a shame if that was to be McCain's legacy.

Posted by: thebobbob | November 25, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Anytime that lady decides to run for anything outside Alaska, her opponent for whatever office is going to show that devastating clip of her pardoning a turkey while the turkey slaughter was going on behind her. She seemed aware that this was going on but did not seem to care care. Why not get out of camera range of the killing. As a politician, she is a clutch and does not know she is a clutch.

Posted by: Opa2 | November 25, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Man it's getting deep in here. First off, Senator McCain, if you wanted to pick a woman and pander to the extreme right at the same time, there were much better choices. I give you Marsha Blackburn. You could call her Palin with a brain and more experience. I'm glad he didn't pick her but she would not have embarrassed herself like Palin did.

The whole Hillary argument is ridiculous. HRC supporters were not voting for her because she was a woman. They supported her because they felt she was competent and supported her centrist politics. I live in an area where Hillary did very well. The large majority of her supporters here voted for Obama. The only exceptions among people I know were folks above a certain age, around 60, who would not vote for a black man under any circumstances.

I always felt like this was an RNC decision, not a McCain decision. If it was McCain, I have grossly misoverestimated his intelligence. The RNC, controlled by neo-cons presently, simply wanted one of their own on the ticket.

The neo-cons and evangelical fringe would have voted for McCain anyway, whether they liked his running mate or not. What he should have done is moved to the center and brought moderates on board. If he had picked Huckabee, Thompson, Hutchison, Lamar Alexander or even Bobby Jindal, he would have had an actual chance at winning. The Palin pick was a slap in the face of moderates who overwhelmingly supported Obama once the running mates were determined.

I hope that this election will accomplish one thing for the Republicans. I hope the real Conservative, principled Republicans will take their party back. Bush, Cheney, Palin, Romney, et al are not what the GOP used to be about. The potential running mates I mentioned above, as well as people like George Will and the late William F. Buckley represent true Conservatism. One should not confuse Jingoism with Conservatism.

Posted by: thelastmoderate | November 25, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I detest this disgraceful Alaska trash. She represents the worst of America. Please, can she be relegated back to her governor's office, where she can abuse her power and give interviews in front of turkey-slaughterer's without us having to know about it?

Posted by: chiefnugt | November 25, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Whenever giving Palin's qualifications, the use of the passive voice is de rigeur: Well she is the governor of Alaska and was a mayor. As if simply being something means having abilities. But accomplishments--not much mention of those because if you actually ground yourself in facts that are verifiable . . .

She is merely a cheer leader. And what the country requires is a true leader, not someone needy for attention and hungry for the power to get it.

Posted by: eddiehaskel | November 25, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Umm, no - question definitely NOT answered. That's part of the problem with this whole process: journalists not asking the right questions. We've all heard the arguments FOR here; the question is why McCain wasn't persuaded by the arguments AGAINST her. Like the fact that she doesn't actually KNOW very much. Like the fact that she is far right and alienated independents. The fact that those issues didn't bother McCain suggest that he either has very bad judgment, or was trying to torpedo his own campaign. For McCain to pick her was irresponsible. For the press to let her sail through the entire campaign with 4 interviews and exactly ZERO press conferences and not cry bloody murder was irresponsible. And if more than half of Americans had seriously considered her to serve as vice president behind a man in the 8th decade of life would have been HORRIBLY irresponsible...

Posted by: jawaltz | November 25, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

"Plans just include gettin' through the budget process that were going through right now? Building this team that is continually being built?"
"Yea now, thankfully we're in a good position still, fiscally speaking. But it made no sense that at $140 barrel oil, some lawmakers wanted to spend, spend, spend and we were warning them then that we needed to prepare for the day that the price of oil would plummet which of course it has done. We had prepared then, reigned in the growth of government then, and we will now that comes into play now at this point, where those savings we had set aside and forward funding, anticipating a drop in oil, accounting for that, all of that comes into play now at $50 per barrel oil"

Now did any of that make sense?? Do you want to listen to that every time you see the President give a Presser??? That's what life with President Palin would be. That is directly from her presser after she pardoned the turkey last week in Alaska. Two answers to questions she was asked.

Posted by: sweetlucy47 | November 25, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

You know, people want to think that Palin's 15 minutes are up. But they're not. Too many True Believers on the Red Meat Right still adore her. And the more idiotic she looks, the more they love her, which kinda says it all. "She's one of us", and all that. Apparently so.

Never mind that Palin's gone back to the provinces. Now that she's had a taste of the big time, she won't be content to stay out in the sticks. Will she find a way to stay in the public eye? You betcha' she will.

We haven't seen the last Sarah Palin.

Posted by: WaitingForGodot | November 25, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is much more qualified to be president than Obama. She has held the office of major and governor. What has Obama done? Not even one term in the Senate. Yet no one talks about that. Sarah Palin has much more experience than Obama has. Talk about not qualified. The liberal voters don't even know what they voted on for the most part. Obama preached "change", but he never specified what that change was. People bought into that because they don't like the state of the economy. But who makes laws...the congress. Who is in control of congress right now? The Democrats! Let's look at the facts and stop dissing on Ms. Palin. All you liberals know is that she spent 150k on her wardrobe and has a pregnant teenage daughter because that's all the networks talked about. Do some research, find the truth!

Posted by: dingyyngie | November 25, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

What mind?

Posted by: jbrubin | November 25, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh puh-leeze. Can we not put this to rest? She's a lot of things, some good and some bad. But presidential timbre she is NOT.

Posted by: giverny98 | November 25, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

This is nothing new. I miss the election.

Posted by: drkatz73 | November 25, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris- You still writing about Gov. Palin? Remember, you just wrote that she wasn't relevant--- "because it is not yet clear how she will find a way to remain in the national dialogue from her far-away outpost in the Last Frontier"---

Why the obsession with this obscure footnote in history who has retired to her job in the Last Frontier and is not in the national dialogue? Please write about relevant matters. -:)

Thanks for the forum WAPOST-

Posted by: VPL8751 | November 25, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

McCain isn't religious and the religious right has always known it. He didn't help matters either when he spoke the truth in his first presidential campaign calling Falwell and Robertson agents of intolerance. The "straight talker" needed to kiss the ring this time and that's exactly what he did by picking Palin - an act of breath-taking irresponsibilty and cynicism from which his reputation will never recover.

Posted by: Dieterman | November 25, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, right McHypocrite. Why not fess up to the two real reasons that got you so "energized" - you know, the two of hers that were staring you right in the face.

Posted by: bclark3 | November 25, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

McCain just can't admit he made a monstrous mistake when he picked Palin out of the frozen tundra to be his running mate. Surely he must realize by now only the looney right continue to support her presidential ambitions. Truth be told, only a small handful of GOP politicians have a positive view about her. The Democrats are hoping against hope that Republicans pick her once more for high office. She consistently shows how unlikely are her chances every time she opens her mouth. Enough said.

Posted by: Diogenes | November 25, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

No one ever saying another word about palin would make me forever happy.

Posted by: MILW | November 25, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, this is nonsense. She was the rare confluence of someone who is a woman and someone who is like George Bush. She energized the worthless people who make up the base of the Republican party, but those people have become an anchor more than anything now. Appeasing them increasingly involves alienating the rest of the country.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 25, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"Question answered."

The same answer has been given multiple times already. This isn't news, unless The Fix was merely looking for an excuse to post a new Palin pic, with some slightly more tousled than normal hair.

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 25, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

So...John saw no possible downside in picking Ms. Palin? And the fact she was a woman and women might be mad that Hillary was neither the presidential or VP nominee never entered his mind?

Posted by: Byron5 | November 25, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

In short McCain's answer is political BULLS%&T! There were many other women in the Republican party that McCain could have chosen to be outside the Washington "beltway". McCain could not choose his friends, Lieberman and Ridge, so he figured he would try to steal the "change" mantle from Obama.

When McCain saw Palin, two words dominated his thoughts, "breast" and "thighs". He wanted to use her physical attractiveness and personal story (i.e. reformist in Alaska, down-syndrome baby and off-to-war soldier-son).

In the end McCain chose Palin for her looks and not her brains/experience. What else would you expect from a guy who said at a General election rally in the Summer of 2008, that he said his wife should enter the wet T-shirt contest!

Posted by: AJ2008 | November 25, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I wish McC every success in the Senate and hope he can regain his form of 2005. He need never say another word about SHP.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 25, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Other than mentioning the "energizing factor," hasn't this been his stock answer ever since he made the pick?

Posted by: HowardsJohnson | November 25, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

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