The selection of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska proved quintessentially McCain — daring, hazardous and defiantly off-message.
Really? Because it seemed to me to be the exact opposite--the result of an over-long, over-thought, overly-vetted process that involved a few dozen exorbitantly-salaried consultants with their several dozen fingers firmly on the pulse of hyperreality, answering questions they'd have been better off not asking. Palin's the kind of mistake only a committee could make (cf. Dan Quayle, who, even though you know it didn't happen that way, you could see Pappy Bush choosing in some slightly inebriated haze). Better choose someone who looks like she knows what 'operating system' means! Should have executive experience, but no Washington Insider status! As close to a caricature of a Red Meat Republican as we can find! Must be pro-Big Drill. And, of course, A choice lazy journalists will hail as Maverick McCain being daring, hazardous, and defiantly off-message! Mission Accomplished, and in the worst possible fashion. "Qualified to be one minor anesthesia misshap during a bi-monthly tumor removal away from the Presidency" obviously didn't make the cut; I don't know whether that was intentional or not, given that these are experts in proposing blind guesses about what people who read Us weekly will decide about complex issues. I think the two things we can say are, one, that viewing themselves now as having a chance to win the thing they were desperate to knock Obama's speech out of the news hole, and they succeeded in the same way having the candidate butcher a cow in a campaign stop in Kansas City would've (It is easier to get to the Top than to stay there!); and, two, that the one bit of floundering they didn't do is take the whole "Hillary Democrats, Ripe for Plucking" routine seriously, not in nominating an anti-Feminist, anti-Reproductive Rights, We've Got Lots of Good Unplundered Tundra Up Here ideologue. Clearly, she's a jab-it-in-your eye pick, one that'll give the moronic base a satisfyingly anti-abortion woman they can accuse Democrats of being hypocritical for opposing. Everybody knows that, right?
Yet in making such an unabashed bid for supporters of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, he risked undercutting his central case against Senator Barack Obama.