This is what I’m talking about. Just a few days after losing the election, and some “unnamed” McCain aides have begun their attempts to throw Sarah Palin under the bus. Yesterday, I said the conservative revolution is about to begin, and now we see the old guard of the republican party fighting back. They want to retain control and since Palin is one of us, they have to destroy her before any hint of 2012 support gains hold.
I was never 100% comfortable with Palin’s qualifications, but I argued that she wasn’t any less qualified than Obama. This argument was never countered by the Obama supporters. And now the McCain folks want to blame Palin for the loss. I disagree.
For one, without Palin the conservative base would have never rallied around McCain. Personally, I would have voted for him but there would have been zero enthusiasm. McCain is simply not a conservative. But Palin energized the conservatives across the country to the point that I – for the first time ever – actually gave money to a campaign and put a sign in my yard. I’m not saying that conservatives would have voted for Obama, but I am saying the turnout for McCain would have been smaller without Palin.
The other thing is obvious. Just look at the poll numbers. Before Palin, McCain was trailing. After Palin, he was leading and this lead was approaching double digits. Then the financial crisis hit and McCain’s campaign completely fell apart. The man who tried to paint himself as a conservative all of a sudden became a populist. Folks, populism isn’t something conservatives are warm to. It’s one small step away from liberalism. Not once did McCain mention the Community Reinvestment Act. Not once did he mention that Joe Biden voted for deregulation of the industry (McCain, on the other hand, did not) and Bill Clinton signed it into law. Not once did he mention bad economic decisions by home buyers. Instead, he parroted the “Wall Street greed” mantra and it left us conservatives wondering if we actually had a dog in this fight. He allowed Obama to lay the blame for the mortgage meltdown on the Republicans and did nothing to counter the argument. He suspends his campaign to go to Washington and then votes for a bill loaded with pork barrel spending – something he has argued passionately against. All of this is not Palin’s fault. While he was trying to find his footing on the matter she was drawing crowds triple the size of his. She was the only one who talked about “living within our means”.
During the third debate, he mentioned Warren Buffett as a potential treasury secretary. What? Buffett is another Soros. What about Romney? And why on earth didn’t McCain bring up the Reverend Wright issue? Why didn’t he discuss Dodd and Frank, and the loads of money given to them and to Obama by Fannie Mae? There were many mistakes made in this campaign, but choosing Palin wasn’t one of them.
When unnamed staffers start making ridiculous assertions I immediately toss them aside. If someone doesn’t have the sack to go on record, then they have no credibility with me. So I think it’s ridiculous to claim that Palin thought Africa was a country, and she didn’t know what nations made up North America. Are you kidding me? This is the most popular and, arguably, the most successful governor in the country. This is not a dumb woman and any attempt to paint her as such will be met with a huge backlash from the conservative base. The liberals may believe it because they want to believe it, but we know better. Attacking Palin is nothing more than assigning blame for a poorly-run campaign.
I won’t pretend that Sarah Palin had a vast wealth of Washington knowledge. She didn’t. And she clearly lacked political experience. So what? What she brought was strong judgment and a demonstration of conservatism. She lived it. This woman risked her career to blow the whistle on political and corporate corruption and her tenure as governor has been marked by a constitutent-before-party principle. She is a problem solver with loads of charisma and charm, backed by sound judgment when confronted with tough choices. Those are qualities that we need in Washington.
The problem is that often people like her are so turned off by the nastiness in politics that they lose the stomach for it. See Condi Rice for another example. Whether or not Palin will be back is up for debate, but I think it’s shameful for any Republican to blame her for the failures of the McCain campaign. And if John McCain is the man I think he is, he will come out and condemn these attacks.