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Squandering The Palin Pick

In which I second-guess Steve Schmidt and Rick Davis

This might make me very unpopular, but I have to be honest, I now think McCain picking Sarah Palin for his Vice-President was a mistake … that is; if what he really was looking for in a VP was nothing more than a highly-scripted cheerleader, then picking Governor Palin was not the wisest decision; In fact, it could not just lose him the election, but end up prematurely terminating the career of a future party star.

The Sarah Palin that I am seeing giving the same shop-worn speech (with only minor variations) at campaign spot after campaign spot, and looking bewildered at Katie Couric because she is clearly trying to massage her answers into line with memorized McCain talking points is not the same woman that got all of us so excited here;

It was easy to dismiss the Left’s screams for Sarah Palin to make herself available to Obama’s reporters’ “tough questions” because, as they insisted, she had not been “vetted“, of course, by them. When Rick Davis said that the McCain Campaign had their own timetable and that it was not necessarily going to be in line with that of Washington pundits and commentators, I was glad.

However, the Palin media blackout has lasted at least three weeks past its sell-by date, giving the meme that she is an utterly unqualified gimmick pick the essential time and space for repetition necessary to gain a significant level of credibility with the same Independent and swing voter demographic that had given McCain’s prospects a boost when he unveiled her as his VP.

Worse was that even while knowing that whatever Press she would face would be hostile, the so-called experts at the helm of the McCain campaign did not anticipate that Palin would need some protection from standard media tricks – i.e. she should have brought her own camera man to the interview with Charles Gibson. This was obvious after the first day of the three day interview series. The fact that she failed to do so for the interview with Katie Couric is a sign of negligence.

Third, and perhaps worst, is that the McCain campaign is not letting Palin be Palin. McCain’s people seem to be forgetting that she is an asset to the ticket not because she’s McCain’s biggest fan, but because of who she is and what she has managed to accomplish in such a short time in Alaska. This scripted muzzled lady is not the pitbull in lipstick that was promised to us at the RNC.

Unless it’s all part of a cunning plan and in the most amazing performances in Presidential campaign history, Palin is going to wallop Joe Biden into a dazed confusion during their debate, it’s time the lady, unleashed and unmuzzled, held some Press Conferences, took some more interviews, and started making the talk show rounds.

With her own camera man in tow, of course.

UPDATE: See Patterico …

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