Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was on Meet the Press today, and when the topic of his 2008 running mate Sarah Palin’s resignation as Alaska governor came up. McCain defended Palin, and claimed that she didn’t quit. He said, “Oh, I don’t think she quit. I think she changed her priorities.” He also said that Palin didn’t break a promise to her supporters by resigning.
Here is the video:
Host David Gregory brought up the fact that McCain has a reputation for toughness and not quitting. McCain replied, “Oh, I don’t think she quit. I think she changed her priorities.” He then claimed she didn’t make a promise to voters to serve out her term, “I don’t know if there was a “promise,” but I do know that she will be an effective player on the national stage.”
McCain also defended his selection of her as his 2008 running mate, “But the fact is she is very popular with our Republican base. She will be a strong voice. I chose her because she was a reformer, because she beat an incumbent governor, she was a popular Republican of her own party, she ignited our base, she did a great job as my running mate even under the most sustained personal attacks that…in certainly recent American political history.”
McCain’s assertion that Palin is the most attacked politician in recent American history is laughable. George W. Bush was very polarizing and strongly attacked. Bush was called a draft dodger, and alcoholic, and a drug addict. Bill Clinton came under even more attack than Bush did. Clinton was called a murderer and a rapist. Republicans tried to remove him from office due to his personal conduct. Clinton is clearly the most personally attacked politician in recent history.
If Palin couldn’t handle some ethics complaints, how is she going to handle being under the microscope of the national media while running for president. She can’t hide from programs like Meet the Press and This Week. In 2012, she won’t have John McCain sitting beside her, and protecting her in interviews. It is interesting that McCain hedged his bets on Palin by saying that she will play a effective role in national politics.
Of course, she will play an effective role in the Republican Party, but saying that she will play an effective role is a lot different than saying that she is serious candidate for president. Rush Limbaugh plays an effective role in Republican politics, but he could never be elected president. Palin may be able to ride her personality to the nomination, but right now, she wouldn’t win a matchup with Obama.