Thursday 22 February 2018

McCain couldn't help acting on impulse

Not one of McCain's inner circle argued for Sarah Palin as vice presidential nominee, writes Gene Kerrigan

Angry, frustrated, perhaps a little panicked, John McCain took a gamble, and it worked. For a couple of days the choice of Alaskan governor Sarah Palin as Republican vice presidential nominee seemed a disaster. Then -- with a deep knowledge of the audience before her -- Palin strode on stage, wowed the Republican faithful and rescued McCain.

What damage might have been done, in the process, is another day's work.

John McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, was chewing the fat with reporters from the Washington Post. There were just hours before Palin was due to deliver her make-or-break speech at the Republican Convention. Davis said that McCain's staff had prepared a speech for the vice presidential nominee, but they hadn't anticipated that McCain would choose a woman. And the speech, designed to mock and attack Barack Obama, was "very masculine". Speechwriter Matthew Scully had to hurriedly huddle with Palin, to reconfigure and feminise the speech. The masculine words had lipstick added.

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