Palin Plants Shiv in McCain’s Ribs — Starts 2012 Campaign

How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child!

–Lear, 1.4.312

After the economic news — we are now practicing some form of vulgar big-ticket corporatism while hoping the roof doesn't fall in — the biggest news yesterday had to be the fault lines suddenly appearing in the McCain-Palin ticket.

Contrary to the 'straight talk' by McCain about how he routinely consults Palin, it is obvious that she is very much the eighteenth banana when it comes to the decisions that matter: campaign strategy. Thus it was no surprise to learn that McCain's tactically understandable but strategically stupid decision to visibly abandon Michigan was made without Palin. (Tactically, McCain has no hope of carrying Michigan, so every dollar spent there is a waste. And dollars are very rationed given the decision to rely on federal funding. That said, strategically this was no time to be seen to waving a white flag, and the political cost – embracing the stench of failure – will outweigh any financial benefits.)

So long as Palin was a political basket case — cf. the Couric tapes — she had to hunker down and hide behind McCain's skirts. But if the debate changed next to nothing in the electoral math, we can now see that it changed everything in the McCain-Palin relationship.

As the Palin-invigorated Gail Collins put in the New York Times, 'The Republicans were euphoric over Sarah Palin’s debate performance, particularly the part in which she stood tall and refrained from falling off the stage.'

That turns out to win almost no new votes, but it did make the base — pretty much the same people who drove the economy over the cliff — feel a lot better.

And thus, at least within the GOP, Palin moves from political basket case to political barracuda. And the first chomp comes out of McCain's hide: Palin can read the polls. They polls all say that she is not going to be Vice-President next January. So McCain becomes another body for her to step on. If the ticket is dead, the real game becomes the Presidential nomination in 2012. And it's therefore critical for Palin to sow the seeds of a narrative that it was Not Her Fault but rather that of the old, tired, impulsive, stupid McCain and his crew.

An so here it is. Act One of our modern Lear:

Decision On Michigan Questioned By Palin. Sarah Palin questioned Republican presidential candidate John McCain's decision to abandon efforts to win Michigan, a campaign move she said she learned about Friday morning when she read it in the newspapers.

In an interview with Fox News Channel Friday, the Alaska governor said she was disappointed that the McCain campaign decided to stop competing in Michigan. In an indication that the vice presidential candidate had not been part of the decision, she said she had “read that this morning, and I fired off a quick e-mail” questioning the move.

“Todd and I, we'd be happy to get to Michigan and walk through those plants of the car manufacturers,” Palin said. “We'd be so happy to get to speak to the people in Michigan who are hurting because the economy is hurting.”

Of course Palin would love to go to Michigan. There are no electoral votes there for the current ticket, there's nothing in it for McCain, but Palin's argument, no more specious than many others, will be that she has a chance to stitch together the Reagan coalition in 2012, and the lunchpail vote is critical element of that coalition. But saying so out loud only harms McCain. Which is why she did it.

I await, sans bated breath, the stories in Sunday's paper about rivalry and dissension at the top of the Republican ticket.

(Kindred spirit: Emptywheel, Mich-Again)

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21 Responses to Palin Plants Shiv in McCain’s Ribs — Starts 2012 Campaign

  1. I cll bllsht says:

    Here is a balanced view: fck th ccksckr ss-wp Rpblcns – th r th dpsht bg bsnss cddlrs slp t th whl wh llwd th fckng mss w s th lst wks. Y cll t – nrgltd txc lndng brngng dwn th bg fnncl nstttns, Md-st qgmr kllng th sns/dghtrs f pr ppl, nvrnmntl lws strp-mnd, t f cntrl dfct dmng m kds ftr, strppng bsc srvcs fr dsbld – fck ths shthd bstrds! Fck ths btt-fckrs nd th ml th rd n n! ll ths fcktrd sshls hv dn fr th pst yrs s sqt dwn nd tk bg stmng dmp f sht rght n th hd f th lttl g.

  2. deb says:

    Good Going Prof! A rational voice in an insane country – how novel. Thanks.

  3. rayn izer says:

    I am an a registered democrat, but I am an avid supportor of McCain Palin, for many reasons, but first because I have kept informed over these years under the Bush administration.During this time I’ve heard many complaints from his own party of John McCain’s support of issues regardless of which party was pushing or endorsing them. In times when he stood against his own party for the good of the nation. It was obvious that many times it left anything but a good taste in the mouths of the republican party for him.

    He is a true patriot first and foremost. His love of this country and it’s people and the desire for the best for them is beyond reproach. He has given all but the ultimate sacrifice for this country.

  4. rmwlaw says:

    rayn izer:

    I am sorry, but I am going to question your sincerity in spewing the BS that you had posted. I am tired of republicans (and yes, some democrats, libertarians, etc.) trolling around on websites claiming to be a member of the political party they are opposing, in order to espouse the alleged (and in this case, wholly misrepresented) virtues and positions of the candidate and political party that they really support, which in your case is John McCain and the GOP.

    It is obvious that you are either a republican or a DINO (and if so, should probably switch to the GOP to relieve the strain you have been experiencing from affilitiating with the Democrats, especially now that coverage of mental health benefits are mandated through the Wall Street Bailout Bill). The self-described “maverick” John McCain that you talk about has not existed for nearly 6 years. After the Commander in Thief stole the vote in my home state of Florida in 2000, McCain got in line, hugged the Shrub in public at rally events in 2004, and has voted between 90 and 95 % in support of the Shrub/Chimp’s agenda. He has not been independent against his party nor a maverick, and has reversed himself (can you say flip-flop) on every major position that he used to hold, including the immigration reform bill named after him, which he opposed once the presidential primaries started for this election cycle.

    Sorry for responding to a troll in this fashion, but as the news anchor character in Network said, “I am as mad as hell, and I can’t take any more.”

  5. JGabriel says:

    Rayn Izer:

    “I am an a registered democrat, but I am an avid supportor of McCain Palin…”

    Because you don’t want to vote for the black guy?

    Or is this just the standard conversion speech – “I was a democrat, but now I’ve seen the light”? Sounds like something they’d be pushing for McCain Troll Points.

    What are you planning on getting with your Troll Points? The faux fleece jacket? Or the $225 pin rendering McCain’s initials in semaphore flags?


  6. ramp says:

    You give her too much credit. Pres. in 2012? Puullleeeeeeze!

  7. Dahgrostab'ph-r-i says:

    rmwlaw – you nailed it, I’m as sick as you to hear people saying they pay attention and then give nothing but misinformation, John McCain is not a Maverick – unless you count the times he has voted against John McCain.

    And to anyone who is happy with the way this country is crashing down around you, please take your Republicans and go find another country (or better yet find a new planet) to live so that at least we can save what is left of the goodness that is America. We, as Americans, are sick and tired of the Republican assualt on America and the American people. Al Queda could never have hopped to bring about the disaster that we have received from the conservatives here at home.

  8. pjmeli says:

    I was a registered Republican for my adult life (I’m 62), have never voted for a Democrat before and re-registered as a Democrat last October – cured by Bush I am now an avid Supporter of Barack Obama and am unlikely to ever vote for a Republican again.

  9. Rebubliecan says:

    ryan izer, Damn man, you beat me to it!! But you’re far more likely to pull off the pose as a Deemocrat than I am. Good work, Bro.

  10. HarrrDeeeHarrrHarrr says:

    I beg to differ. John McCain IS a maverick!
    He’s a great war HERO.
    He single handedly tried to bring the VC down with his kung-fu grip and hardened stare.
    He was so powerful that the VC had to zombify his arms, that’s why they hang there
    like limp noodles now. His gaze was so soul wrenching that the VC had to blinkify
    his eyes. Now he can’t stare endlessly at anything without blinking 100/sec.
    And remember while you’re sitting at your keyboard all cozy, comfortable
    and drinking your lattes having happy thoughts about your savior Obama,
    there was a time when McCains life he wasn’t so comfortable and didnt even have a chair to sit upon.
    This happened to him because not because he choose it but because
    he loves America and he was defending our way of life!

    McCain is swell and Obama’s from Hell!
    Vote Old ’08

  11. Paul in Boca says:

    To I cll bllsht:
    e oe ou ii ae a oi o oe ae o ea ou ui.
    Translation: We ignore your childish attempts at posting, no one attempts to read your bullshit.

  12. sedum says:


    Your ask what the tro// gets for his efforts?

    More sticky on the basement floor.

  13. Abba says:

    Palin in 2012??
    ROFL! Really?

    If she tries to runn again nationally, all Barack has to do is play the Couric interview over and over.
    She’s so hardcore to the right (ie, retarded) that her appeal to independants and democrats in ZERO.

    Only the ReichpuliCON-ARTIST base loves her, because like them, she can’t think. She’s a blind sheep to ideology, which is EXACTLY what neocntservthemselves hope for in voters.

    They gladly and willfully swap facts for scorn and hatred, and have absolutely ZERO respect for ANYTHING America stands for, except blatant militarism and the end of privacy.

    McCain Palin is a blight on America, and they are so bankrupt, so utterly devoid of any real mening that they’ve done nothing more than TRY to coopt Obama’s ideas.

    It’s absurd and pathetic that McCain is desperately trying to latch on Obama’s coattails. “Change is coming”. LMAO. Pathetic.

  14. Green Eagle says:

    Rayn Izer:

    It is time to stop with all of the lies. Mr. McCain made 30 propaganda broadcasts for the enemy while in Vietnam. That makes him not a patriot but a traitor. You understand? A traitor.
    There may have been exigent circumstances, but his treason still makes him grossly ineligible to lead this country.
    The Republicans- they babble without end about patriotism, and their last two choices for President were a deserter and a traitor.

  15. Ace Armstrong says:

    The McShame/Impalin ticket has to be some of the best political theatre to come along in awhile. As the candidates standing for the ‘Official Party that Destroyed America’ they are at least maintaining their commitment to info-tain the base.
    The economic reality we now face is the culmination of Reaganomics. Narcissistic adoration of the chimera of free markets and self-regulation have brought us to the dead end of over leveraged derivatives and assorted other voodoo financial instruments.
    Unregulated capitalism will naturally evolve to monopoly and then oligarchy. But if you don’t believe in evolution it’s easy to misconstrue reality as a pipe dream.
    So it comes as no surprise that the Queen of the North is willing to sacrifice her under-assistant-west-coast-promo-man for apparent future gains. Fortunately she comes with more questions than a quiz show and time is not her ally.

  16. Ian says:

    That McCain fellow is going to explode before election day, eh? What with the uppity colored fellow calling him John like senator McCain really means it when he says “My friends” and the uppity bitch dragging his campaign into utter disaster then proposing to win Michigan on her own with the implication that McCain was raising a white flag of defeat.

  17. Meditating Upside-Down says:

    I hope you’re right about this. If the McCain/Palin ticket takes the White House, America is doomed. Period. It would be advantageous to have the ticket begin tearing itself apart…

  18. LACJ says:

    Wow! What a conversation here, after a very strong analysis in the original post. Analysis of a quality that I feel is rarely seen in these parts.

    Love the snark, and also, to some extent, the half- (or demi-) snark.

    Plus, when I first started reading the comments I got the distinct impression that I was in an ubuntu forum

    sudo apt-get fck th ccksckr -a -U

    Don’t cut and paste that into terminal or you will re-format your hardrive!!1

  19. I cll bllsht says:


    Here is the post before it was mangled by filter: “Here is a balanced view: fck th ccksckr ss-wp Rpblcns – th r th dpsht bg bsnss cddlrs slp t th whl wh llwd th fckng mss w s th lst wks. Y cll t – nrgltd txc lndng brngng dwn th bg fnncl nstttns, Md-st qgmr kllng th sns/dghtrs f pr ppl, nvrnmntl lws strp-mnd, t f cntrl dfct dmng m kds ftr, strppng bsc srvcs fr dsbld – fck ths shthd bstrds! Fck ths btt-fckrs nd th ml th rd n n! ll ths fcktrd sshls hv dn fr th pst yrs s sqt dwn nd tk bg stmng dmp f sht rght n th hd f th lttl g.”

  20. All I know is that I work at a big Pharmaceutical corporation in Clayton NC and I support Barack Obama with all my being. I would love for all my friends and colleagues to say yes for Obama in 2012!! I LOVE YOU OBAMA

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