First it was rampant spending for the war without cutting back at home. Then the party was afraid of the best candidates – Huckabee and Romney, falling back on giving McCain his turn. Romney supporters didn’t fully trust McCain and Huckabee supporters considered boycotting the election. All because the party in power didn’t really want to be reformed.
The selection Palin as VP surprised a lot of people. There are some poor choices she’s made in the past that should have been caught before her name was announced, and gave fodder for the Democrat operatives. But it was the kind of un-managed selection that energized the base and pulled them back into the election.
Until the party bosses got ahold of her.
$150,000 for new clothes! She would have been more genuine in the same three outfits over and over. Show off her working class cred instead of trying to act like the Washington elite she railed against so often.
She’s got a great message, and is a great debater on issues, but the party has coached her into saying nothing. No press conferences. No town halls. Few independent campaign appearances (don’t want to out-draw the headliner!)
The party advisers are also telling McCain to stump tired speeches over and over. He was unimpressive in the debate and looks like an angry old guy on the campaign trail, so much that “thoughtful Obama” almost doesn’t have to campaign any more. He expects to get to the top job on momentum.
And if Obama wins, the Republican party bosses can go back to their comfortable back rooms and pat each other on the back. The “maverick reformer” will be returned to the back bench for the remainder of his Senate term and then retire to obscurity. Palin they assume is damaged enough they’ll never have to hear from her again.
The seeds of a 2010 mid-term election upset are already planted. Look for fertilizer next spring.