So who really picked Sarah Palin? Steve asked a very interesting question about why not Governor Pawlenty?
We know from Max Blumenthal the conservative Council for National Policy (CPN) met last week to discuss who McCain (could) should pick and they nixed McCain's good buddy Lieberman. We also know that they were very anxious to announce on Friday so they could suppress or limit any momentum Obama would get from his speech.
So, either McCain had the choice stuffed down his throat and he went along because he really would do anything to win. Or the CPN had found their perfect stealth candidate for the Dominionists crowd. Or for some reason Governor Pawlenty didn't pass muster (did he ever stand up to them?). Or was McCain himself was given a choice and he picked her because he has some reason to doubt Pawlenty and/or just wanted to go with her because she sounded like the bigger gamble, but the bigger win if the die rolled his way?
As TNR's John Judis reports:
McCain strategists have tried to explain Palin’s nomination as an attempt to secure discontented Democrats who backed Hillary Clinton. But that’s not the refrain heard here among social conservatives who predominate among the delegates. They like Palin because she is one of them. And there is some reason to believe that McCain’s choice was partly intended to mollify conservatives like James Dobson and Richard Land who were on the fence, but who, since the choice of Palin, have become considerably warmer toward McCain.
That’s certainly the view of Grover Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform, and a member of the secret conservative organization, the Council for National Policy, which met last Thursday and Friday in Minneapolis to debate McCain’s candidacy. According to Norquist, the council members, who include the country’s leading social conservatives, became enthusiastic about McCain when they heard of his choice of Palin. “They were uneasy before, and they suddenly became very excited,” Norquist explains, as we talk in the lobby of the St. Paul Hotel, after he has finished addressing the Arizona delegation. Norquist says the story of Palin’s child with down syndrome was particularly important to the social conservatives. “Even Richard Viguerie was enthusiastic. I’ve never seen him excited about any Republican presidential nominee.”
It certainly appears she was seen as the perfect stealth candidate for the right wing cultists and now they are rallying to her as their candidate.
Talk about upstaging McCain in his moment of triumph.
Yet now that the American public gets to see who really wants to put her on the ticket, they might just be a bit repelled - even though she is a nice, attractive, bright and vivacious lady. Especially when it's a choice between sane, thoughtful Barack Obama and reckless, erratic John McCain.
This is an open thread.