November 7th, 2008


The Palin Factor, and Who is Really to Blame

If the reports are to be believed, there's a lot of finger-pointing going on behind the scenes of the failed McCain campaign, and the Republican Party in general. A lot of McCain's team are pointing specifically at one person: Governor Sarah Palin. They're saying she was an out-of-control rogue more concerned with her own success than the ticket's, that she went on an insane shopping spree with campaign funds, and that she was, basically, an idiot who didn't know Africa was a continent, not a country.

Today, CNN's Campbell Brown responds to this blame-Palin finger-pointing with the best commentary on the subject I've seen so far:

To those top McCain advisers who leaked the little story about seeing Sarah Palin in a towel; to those who called her and her family "Wasilla hillbillies" while using her to stoke class warfare with red meat speeches and an anti-elitist message; to those who claim she didn't know Africa was a continent; to those McCain aides who say she is the reason they lost this election: Can I please remind you of one thing? You picked her.

You are the ones who supposedly vetted her, and then told the American people she was qualified for the job. You are the ones who, after meeting her a couple of times, told us she was ready to be just one heartbeat away from the presidency.

If even half of what you say now is true, then boy, did you try to sell the American people a bill of goods. If Sarah Palin is the reason some voters chose Barack Obama, that is no one's fault but your own.

Preach it, Campbell! (God, I wish you weren't married! I've been hot for you since your election coverage in 2000!)

The McCain staffers can point fingers all they want, but the truth is, Gov. Palin is the same person today that she was when she was selected for the VP slot in August. It was their moronic choice that didn't work, it was their selection of someone whose extreme right-wing views galvanized the base but simultaneously alienated the moderates, independents and undecideds whose votes they needed to win, it was their pathetic, transparent attempt to lure disgruntled Hillary supporters away from Obama after the primaries that cost them the election. Palin's just Palin (which is why I think she's doomed should she try to run for president in 2012; I doubt she'd make it past the primaries), but it was the campaign itself that made the choice, and now they're suffering the consequences.

You can't purposely let a bull loose in a china shop and then be angry at the bull when you get the bill for everything it broke.