November 12, 2008
MELISSA CLOUTHIER: Shame on John McCain for Not Defending Sarah Palin. "What rock is Senator McCain hiding under and why can’t he show himself for a moment to defend his running mate? . . . Once again, John McCain’s actions betray the character traits conservatives abhorred about the man during his years in the Senate: He would spit in a friend’s eye to win the favor of an enemy." On the upside, he's making a lot of Republicans feel better about losing to Obama. It's all part of the healing!
UPDATE: Reader Edward Tabakin writes:
I have a simpler explanation for why McCain isn't defending Palin against the smears. He hates her. She drew bigger crowds, more enthusiastic crowds, more loving crowds that he could ever get. Remember, the initial plan was to send her out to small towns and rural America, to rally the bitter clingers of Bibles and guns to McCain's side. But there came a moment -- maybe in the Friday rally where he announced her as his pick, maybe during the convention -- where both McCain and Palin realized that she could go to Klamath Falls National Forest and draw a bigger crowd than he could in Red State, Texas, and that forced McCain to do joint rallies with Palin. She could whip the crowds up for him, get a big, big roar, bigger than he could get on his own. The problem was, for her, the cheers were from the heart; for him, from a sense of duty. It's the political version of the eternal triangle.
My feeling is that anyone caught in that situation might have that sort of reaction. That it's happening to Senator McCain makes it all the sweeter.
Ouch. But I think there's something to this. I mentioned early on that the campaign faced problems with the #2 overshadowing the #1. Of course, this response only makes McCain look smaller.