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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Does Palin Pick Give McCain Cover If He Loses?

I am starting to fear that the voting public (and the media) may not fully appreciate the most damning aspect of the Sarah Palin pick as John McCain's running mate: the fact that he didn't vet her in the slightest and the resulting indictment of McCain's "shoot-from-the-hip" impulsiveness and lack of judgment.

Assuming this comes to pass, I wonder if McCain's pick of Palin was a shrewd "cover your ass" move, designed to shield himself from the full brunt of his party's anger if he loses the election.

This is my thinking: After Mondale picked Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and lost the election, a large amount of the scorn levied against the ticket, rightly or wrongly, was that Ferraro and her unearthed scandals and lack of qualifications sank whatever chance he had of winning. Consider the following conventional wisdom that emerged after the dust settled on the 1984 campaign -- the parallels to the McCain/Palin ticket are uncanny:

"At the outset the "Ferraro factor" brought glamour and energy to Mondale's rather staged, lacklustre image and plodding campaign. Shortly after the convention, however, controversy erupted about her personal finances. Her reputation was damaged by revelations of tax avoidance, shady business dealings, and possible Mafia connections of her husband, John Zaccaro. There were also allegations that Ferraro herself had been involved in financial impropriety in respect of her 1978 campaign funds. The ensuing scandal doomed the Mondale — Ferraro ticket." (emphasis mine)

If McCain ends up losing and people don't register the fact that the full blame lies on McCain for thrusting such an unknown and unqualified running mate onto the ticket, I wonder if much of the blame will come to rest on Sarah Palin and all of the various reasons that make her phenomenally unqualified for the job.

Is this a move that McCain caculated to save some of his reputation after the election?

I wonder...