September 2, 2008

OhNoes The London Times' US editor, Gerard Baker - as reliable a Republican booster as it is possible to find - reports that senior GOP greyhairs are worried.

While Republican delegates here rave about Sarah Palin, and angrily denounce the salubrious media coverage of her daughter’s pregnancy, a number of the party’s elders are in a state of high anxiety.

... Some Republicans are plainly upset that in an election campaign which Senator McCain himself has said turns on the central issue of national security, he has chosen someone as a potential successor in a crisis who, whatever her other talents, has no background in international affairs.

One senior Republican, a former Bush Administration official, described himself to me this week as “personally disgusted” by the selection, one that betrayed a desire by Mr McCain for short-term political gain at the expense of the national interest - wholly counter to the senator’s message hitherto.

But the bigger worry among many Republicans here is not that Mrs Palin might win in November, and prove to be ill-equipped to lead the nation should she have to after next January, but that she might lose; that the cascading revelations about her will bring down the McCain campaign.

At issue is the judgment and attention shown by the McCain campaign in selecting her.

Quote of the day:

As David Frum, a former speechwriter for President Bush, put it during a discussion here about the campaign: “When someone takes the rent money and puts it on black at the roulette table, and it comes up black, we don’t say “Wow! What a terrific piece of judgment."

And when it comes up on Red 13? Well, then, you try to make the election about personalities. Or to be more precise, carefully groomed public personas. Because let's face it, little we know about the true personalities of Gambler McAngry or Sarah The Book-Banning Theocrat will endear them to the electorate.

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