11 November 2008

About time

McCain comes out and says Palin didn't hurt campaign. Duh. He should have issues a statement earlier.


Glenn Gruber said...


I think that she actually DID hurt the campaign. Yes she provided an initial boost, but once she actually started to try to talk about actual policies and current events, she demonstrated a lack of depth that concerned voters.

Now that is not to say that McCain didn't run a poor campaign. He did. Almost '96 Bob Dole bad (hard to actually match that, but it was close).

But I think McCain finally came out and said that Palin didn't hurt the campaign because he's a stand-up guy and didn't feel right letting her take the fall and having all the inside dirty laundry aired through the media. At the end of the day he realized that it was his campaign and he had to take whatever responsibility there was to take for the result.

tom said...

Hey Glenn,

There's certainly an argument to be made that she hurt the campaign. But I would think that she only hurt it among moderates who might have been put off by her conservatism.

My argument would be that a Republican shouldn't try to beat a Democrat by going to the left. That's a losing strategy. McCain is a pretty moderate Republican. I think if he'd been more conservative - like Palin - he'd have done better.

On balance I think Palin was a positive for the campaign. She drew huge crowds - bigger than McCain. I think she was a good choice - a conservative, female governor. I don't think anyone else would have given him a better chance.

As for the criticism - I think part of it is from Washington insider types who didn't like her coming from outside of the good-ol-boy network. Or something like that.

It'll be interesting to see what she and the Republicans do in the next few years.

Glenn Gruber said...

I think the fact that she turned off the moderates is EXACTLY the point. But what put them off is not her traditional conservative values (small government, low taxes) but her social conservative/evangelical-oriented views.

What sunk McCain with moderates was that he veered so hard to the (religious) right. ..and his choice of Palin made that absolutely clear. Had he stayed with his moderate views he could have actually won the independants and Reagan Democrats and perhaps won the election.

As to the criticism of Palin, I don't think it was an inside-the-beltway issue. I think it was her obvious lack of command, of, or even basic demonstration of knowledge about, most policy issues that sunk her. Tina Fey's impersonation was so funny because it hit so close to home.


Even Mike Murphy, who ran McCain's 2000 campaign, said she was weak.