Political Deformity

A Handshake of Carbon Monoxide

McCain to Drop Palin?

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow thinks that it’s in the cards: Think Progress has a clip of her saying that “it is becoming less likely by the hour that Palin will still be John McCain’s nominee even by the end of the week.” Joshua Green sheds some light on how the Palin-dropping process might work in The Atlantic:

At any point before tomorrow night, McCain could simply replace Palin. But once she formally accepts her nomination, he’ll no longer have the power to do so unilaterally. According to Ben Ginsberg, the former general council at the Republican National Committee, Republican rules stipulate that the 168 members of the national committee would need to ratify any replacement to make it official…

…such a vote would almost certainly be a formality. “The members of the Republican national committee would be overwhelmingly inclined to follow the wishes of the nominee in any situation in which this rule got invoked, unless it were someone completely outside the mainstream of the Republican Party,” [said Ginsburg].

Still, I don’t think McCain will drop Palin. To do so would be political suicide, as it’d be an admission that McCain’s first big test of judgment–picking a president-in-waiting–was an absolute disaster.

Okay, I guess the one thing in McCain’s corner is that Palin has a great excuse for stepping down: she’s a mother of five, has one child with Downs syndrome, and has a 17 year-old daughter who’s pregnant. This is quite a hectic and demanding personal life–one that could easily be cited as a reason why Palin can’t run.

“I do not think that I, in good faith, could give the position of vice-president the time and attention it deserves because of the responsibility of caring for my wonderful family,” she’d say. This would be a one-two punch, as she’d ostensibly be putting family first (because she wants to care for her kids) and country first (because she thinks the U.S.A. needs a fully committed VP). Family values and flag-waving conservatives would probably admire such a narrative, whether it’s baloney or not.

If Palin is going to make an exit, that’s probably how it’ll go down. McCain could still pretend that he was right about her and that, like him, Palin selflessly puts others before her own interests. Bullet dodged, right?

Not quite. No matter what fairy tale is spun around a Palin departure, McCain could never talk his way out of the fact that he should have vetted her to acknowledge any and all potential conflicts with her candidacy before he picked her. Regardless of whether or not he’s right about her character, he needs to be right about her readiness to be Vice President. And if she leaves, it’ll be proof that he wasn’t. There’s no way that dropping Palin can be anything but a catastrophe for McCain.

So here’s hoping it happens.


September 3, 2008 Posted by | John McCain, Media Coverage, Republicans, Sarah Palin | , , , , | 1 Comment