In an interview this past Sunday with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, John McCain said the following. Wallace had asked him whether Governor Palin had turned out to be a drag on the ticket. (The phrase “cold political calculation” cam from Wallace, but I didn’t notice McCain being reticent to use it.)
As a cold political calculation, I could not be more pleased. She has excited and energized our base. She is a direct counterpoint to the liberal feminist agenda for America.
She has a wonderful family. She’s a reformer. She’s a conservative. She’s the best thing that could have happened to my campaign and to America. And when I see the enthusiasm and I see the passion that she has aroused, I am so happy.
And the fact is Americans are also beginning to learn that she ran a state. She’s an executive that has 24,000 employees. She took on a governor of her own state, of her own party.
She knows energy better than certainly most people in Washington. She’s had executive experience. She has knowledge and background, and she also has a compassion and understanding of special needs families. So I couldn’t be happier.
It must be killing McCain to have to say things like that.
Palin’s favorable ratings have been plummeting steadily after her initial introduction at the big convention. It is now obvious to everyone with a pulse that she is a complete lightweight with nothing to say on any of the great issues of our time. Polls are now showing that people view the selection of Palin as reflecting very badly on McCain’s judgment. We know that McCain wanted someone like Lieberman or Ridge, but instead kowtowed to his base by picking Palin.
Now he’s stuck making a fool of himself denying the obvious on nationwide television.
Palin, for her part, continues to make a fool of herself. Just savor her remarks about the role of the Vice President:
Q: Brandon Garcia wants to know, “What does the Vice President do?”
PALIN: That’s something that Piper would ask me! … [T]hey’re in charge of the U.S. Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom.
Mr. Garcia is a third grader whose question had apparently been sent to the network for this interview. I trust you are aware that Palin is mistaken about the role of the VP?
This led to an amusing exchange between Chris Matthews and Pat Buchanan on tonight’s Hardball:
BUCHANAN: She’s talking to second and third graders…
MATTHEWS: She’s talking like a second grader!
Sometimes even Matthews gets it right.
Then we have this amusing story from Politico about the budget for Sarah Palin’s wardrobe:
The Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.
According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.
The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.
The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.
The cash expenditures immediately raised questions among campaign finance experts about their legality under the Federal Election Commission’s long-standing advisory opinions on using campaign cash to purchase items for personal use.
I wouldn’t care so much about this story except that it reminds me of the way the media in 2000 reacted to the trumped up tale of Naomi Wolf telling Al Gore to wear Earth tones, in an attempt to endear himself to female voters. At the time they thought this story, almost certainly false, shined a bright light on Gore’s many psychological failings. I wonder what they think of this one?
On the other hand, perhaps we have enough real examples of Palin’s failings that we do not need to harp on this.