As far as I can tell, the only people excited about McCain's choice of Sarah Palin for the Vice Presidency are the Religious Rights and those paid to cheerlead anything Republicans do, like Sean Hannity. Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty feel used and abused. Conservatives like Kathryn Lopez and David Frum think it's a mistake. Rove openly pushed Romney and discouraged McCain from considering Lieberman. James Dobson, in stark contrast, is dancing in the aisles. So was it the Religious Right (disgraced former head of the Moral Majority, Ralph Reed has reared up very prominently in the McCain campaign recently) that demanded the price of the VP pick to back John McCain?
It's the only thing that I can put together, given what appears to be a haphazard vetting process.
On MSNBC this evening Andrea Mitchell reported on how minimal John McCain's interactions with his choice for vice president, Sarah Palin, have been. According to Mitchell, McCain only met Palin once. Download Download (h/t Heather)
The very day he announces his choice, Alaska State Senator Hollis French announces that Palin is likely to be deposed in the abuse of power investigation, dubbed "Troopergate" in the media. ABC is reporting that Palin wasn't even in the running until this week and McCain sent lawyers to Alaska to vet out the Troopergate issue solely.
Well, that probably wasn't so smart. Because Palin has a cozy relationship with indicted and disgraced Republican Senator Ted Stevens. Luckily, like her Wikipedia entry Download (h/t BillW), those pages on her state governor pages have been scrubbed. As have the ones where she praised Barack Obama's energy policy. Maybe she's being so careful because she's had experience before in hacking in and looking for deleted files on someone else's computer.
Paul Begala nails the kind of Presidential decision making process that McCain has already proven himself ill-equipped for:
For a man who is 72 years old and has had four bouts with cancer to have chosen someone so completely unqualified to become president is shockingly irresponsible. Suddenly, McCain's age and health become central issues in the campaign, as does his judgment.↓ Story continues below ↓
In choosing this featherweight, McCain passed over Tom Ridge, a decorated combat hero, a Cabinet secretary and the former two-term governor of the large, complex state of Pennsylvania.
He passed over Mitt Romney, who ran a big state, Massachusetts; a big company, Bain Capital; and a big event, the Olympics.
He passed over Kay Bailey Hutchison, the Texas senator who is knowledgeable about the military, good on television, and -- obviously -- a woman.
He passed over Joe Lieberman, his best friend in the Senate and fellow Iraq Kool-Aid drinker.
He passed over former congressman, trade negotiator and budget director Rob Portman.
And he also passed over Mike Huckabee, the governor of Arkansas.
For months, the McCainiacs have said they will run on his judgment and experience. In his first presidential decision, John McCain has shown he is willing to endanger his country, potentially leaving it in the hands of someone who simply has no business being a heartbeat away from the most powerful, complicated, difficult job in human history.