October 20, 2008 12:55 PM Subscribe
posted by Blazecock Pileon (189 comments total)
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Jane Meyer of The New Yorker
explains how John McCain came to pick Sarah Palin
Jane Meyer offers a fascinating account of the mating ritual performed between Palin and Republican elite in the year leading up to the general election. Excerpts:
``From the start of her political career, Palin has positioned herself as an insurgent intent on dislodging entrenched interests. In 1996, a campaign pamphlet for her first mayoral run—recently obtained by The New Republic—strikes the same note of populist resentment that Palin did at the Convention: “I’m tired of ‘business as usual’ in this town, and of the ‘Good Ol’ Boys’ network that runs the show here.” Yet Palin has routinely turned to members of Washington’s Old Guard for help. After she became the mayor of Wasilla, Palin oversaw the hiring of a law firm to represent the town’s interests in Washington, D.C. The Wasilla account was handled by Steven Silver, a Washington-area lobbyist who had been the chief of staff to Alaska’s long-serving Republican senator Ted Stevens, who was indicted in July on charges of accepting illegal gifts and is now standing trial. (Silver declined to discuss his ties to Palin.) As the Washington Post reported, Silver’s efforts in the capital helped Wasilla, a town of sixty-seven hundred residents, secure twenty-seven million dollars in federal earmarks. During this election season, however, Palin has presented herself as more abstemious, saying, “I’ve championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress.”
``In February, 2007, Adam Brickley gave himself a mission: he began searching for a running mate for McCain who could halt the momentum of the Democrats. Brickley, a self-described “obsessive” political junkie who recently graduated from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, told me that he began by “randomly searching Wikipedia and election sites for Republican women.”...
``By the spring, the McCain campaign had reportedly sent scouts to Alaska to start vetting Palin as a possible running mate. A week or so before McCain named her, however, sources close to the campaign say, McCain was intent on naming his fellow-senator Joe Lieberman, an independent, who left the Democratic Party in 2006. David Keene, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, who is close to a number of McCain’s top aides, told me that “McCain and Lindsey Graham”—the South Carolina senator, who has been McCain’s closest campaign companion—“really wanted Joe.” But Keene believed that “McCain was scared off” in the final days, after warnings from his advisers that choosing Lieberman would ignite a contentious floor fight at the Convention, as social conservatives revolted against Lieberman for being, among other things, pro-choice.
``“They took it away from him,” a longtime friend of McCain—who asked not to be identified, since the campaign has declined to discuss its selection process—said of the advisers. “He was furious. He was pissed. It wasn’t what he wanted.” Another friend disputed this, characterizing McCain’s mood as one of “understanding resignation.” ''