CFP: In his new book, The Restless Wave, and in an upcoming HBO documentary, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) expresses regret about choosing former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate in the 2008 election. According to The New York Times, in the documentary, McCain refers to the Palin selection as “another mistake” he made in a long political career.
In his new book, McCain reportedly claims that former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, a Democrat, would have been a better choice for the ticket. McCain noted that his advisers convinced him not to choose the Democrat, so he picked the relatively unknown Alaska Governor.
The “maverick” McCain has made a career out of trashing Republicans and “reaching across the aisle” to his friends in the Democratic Party. Of course, he would have preferred Lieberman, who is liberal on fiscal and social issues. A McCain-Lieberman ticket would have been a disaster and lost in a landslide. The only thing that prevented McCain from losing to Barack Obama in a total blowout was Sarah Palin.
While the 2008 was not a rout, Obama handily won both the popular vote and the Electoral College. On the campaign trail, McCain failed to connect with the American people and was nowhere near as smooth or polished as Obama. In the debates, McCain performed badly and was easily dispatched by his opponent, a better politician and presidential candidate.
Instead of being a mistake, selecting Sarah Palin was the best thing to happen to the 2008 McCain campaign. At the GOP convention, she gave a fiery speech that energized the delegates. In her only vice presidential debate against Joe Biden, Palin perform admirably.
On the campaign trail, Palin provided a spark, displaying much needed energy and enthusiasm. While McCain was a poor communicator and lacked vigor, Palin was a powerful speaker who exuded vitality and dynamism.
As the vice presidential candidate Palin was able to rally conservatives, who were unexcited about McCain, and encourage those voters to support the GOP ticket. It was Sarah Palin who helped create the powerful Tea Party movement that drove the Republican agenda for several years. In contrast, McCain was very unpopular with Tea Party groups. His moderate to liberal positions on a number of issues were more in tune with Barack Obama than the Republican Party.
As a presidential candidate, McCain refused to attack many of Obama’s extremely liberal positions. He even scolded talk show host Bill Cunningham for mentioning Obama’s middle name of Hussein at a rally. McCain said the campaign did not want to engage in such tactics. Of course, there was nothing wrong with mentioning Obama’s middle name or blasting his horrible platform. more here