Both Mark McKinnon and Nicolle Wallace, recently the McCain-Palin campaign's media gurus, were both on MSNBC this morning to talk ostensibly about serious subjects but eventually came around to the matter of Todd Purdum's Vanity Fair piece on Sarah Palin, in which they both figure prominently as objects of the diva's ire.
Both do their best to speak glowingly of Palin -- McKinnon says he actually only coached her for two hours -- and Wallaces talks up Palin's future prospects. But really, one only need read the piece to see the writing that's been on the wall for some time for Palin: She is road kill in the rear-view mirror of the Republican Party's Beltway movers and shakers.
It also raises some salient larger points:
Whatever her political future, the emergence of Sarah Palin raises questions that will not soon go away. What does it say about the nature of modern American politics that a public official who often seems proud of what she does not know is not only accepted but applauded? What does her prominence say about the importance of having (or lacking) a record of achievement in public life? Why did so many skilled veterans of the Republican Party—long regarded as the more adroit team in presidential politics—keep loyally working for her election even after they privately realized she was casual about the truth and totally unfit for the vice-presidency? Perhaps most painful, how could John McCain, one of the cagiest survivors in contemporary politics—with a fine appreciation of life’s injustices and absurdities, a love for the sweep of history, and an overdeveloped sense of his own integrity and honor—ever have picked a person whose utter shortage of qualification for her proposed job all but disqualified him for his?
The issue, it seems, comes down to the initial lack of vetting:
There is virtually nothing about Palin’s performance in the fall campaign that should have come as a surprise to John McCain. Had he really attempted to learn something about her before the fateful day of August 29, 2008, when he announced that she was his choice for running mate, he would easily have discerned all the traits that he belatedly came to know.
Palin's career as a mainstream Republican is probably at a dead end, because her name is now synonymous with Wacky Loser. However, that doesn't mean her career is dead, by any means. There's a big bunch of Teabaggers out there primed and ready to party with a charismatic leader, and Evita Palin fits the bill.