Mavericks in Mesa
You may have seen clips over the weekend of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin stumping for Senator John McCain in Arizona last Friday. I saw a good chunk of the event on cable, and I must say that it struck me as a bit sad for McCain. It wasn’t even two full years ago that McCain plucked Palin out of relative obscurity in a long-shot bid to energize his flagging campaign at the Republican National Convention.
But there he was again last Friday, counting on Palin for that same infusion of energy, only this time the thousands of people gathered at the event weren’t really his supporters. As many media interviews confirmed, they were largely there to see Palin. I am sure McCain knows that the hardcore Palin supporters (and avid tea partiers) who turned out last Friday in Mesa are not his natural core constituency, but he is in a difficult position. The Republican Party primary in Arizona is scheduled to be a closed contest this year, so McCain can’t count on the independent voters who have helped him in the past.
For conservatives who don’t like McCain and are grumbling about Palin’s endorsement of him, I don’t see that she really had any other option without looking like a complete ingrate. A few years ago she was largely unknown, and now she’s both a leading voice in the national party and a multimillionaire, solely due to McCain’s choice of her as his running mate. These unhappy conservatives, who were willing to bite their tongues (at least once the primaries were over) for the sake of party unity in 2008, now feel that it is their (and Sarah Palin’s) time. We shall see whether her reflected glow gets McCain through a difficult primary.
Note: After a brief timeout, I'll be back with new content for you on Thursday, April fooling! See you soon. -Dean


Posted On: 03-30-2010 08:28:53 by Jim Splaine
I too felt sorry for John McCain as I watched the event -- it was carried live on CNN, I believe, and I saw excerpts on other shows. I think I caught the entire Sarah Palin speech, and noted that John McCain seemed out-classed by, of all people -- HER! She was at her best that day, I thought. I'm also saddened that this one-time "Maverick" certainly isn't now. He's made very right-win conservative comments and votes in the Senate of late, and it's so obviously just about politics. I guess one's integrity goes down the drain when your job is at stake. But is it worth it for him to lose his conscience to hang around for another term if he has to do what he's doing?

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