Palin, of course, was airlifted in to McCain’s campaign from a small Alaskan town called Wasilla, of which she’d been mayor before being elected Governor of Alaska.
McCain’s floundering 2008 Presidential campaign required a bump as he chased Obama’s dynamism.
Palin delivered as his Vice-Presidential choice: pretty much unknown outside Alaska, young(ish), attractive, and a straight-talker.
Uh, hold that thought and watch this video
No matter, Palin was the textbook sidekick to McCain’s slow-boat, old man, stylings.
Except, of course, her policies, lack of worldview, and plain old lack of smarts (and perhaps little appreciation of beat poetry) saw her and McCain rejected by the American electorate.
Still, McCain had unleashed the beast.
Now, Palin roams America, after quitting her Governorship mid-term to chase book deals and a lucrative speaking circuit, to somehow become a star for the anti-Obamas.
So, thank you John McCain, for introducing us to Sarah Palin, a point that may become his political legacy.
McCain had spent years spinning himself as Mr Reasonable, a Republican-with-a-conscience, a decorated Vietnam War veteran who had been a prisoner of war.
Representing Arizona, he positioned himself as progressive on immigration, gay rights, and climate change while being tough on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
He could have been President – twice.
In 2000, he crushed George W. Bush in an important primary in New Hampshire before being steam-rolled later in the campaign.
McCain, remember, was a “maverick”, a guy who would not run with the pack.
That’s possibly because McCain, now running for re-election for his Arizona senate seat, has probably always been about McCain rather than any genuine ideology.
More recently, McCain has flipped on immigration, backing a fence on the Mexican border and, somewhat embarrassingly, sought endorsement from Palin to boost his vote.
And an attempt to boost his vote was just why he picked Palin.
Vanity Fair magazine has considered an alternative universe had McCain and Palin won in 2008.
The US – and the world – would be a very different place.
– There would probably be no stimulus bill; the country’s economic condition would be no better (and possibly worse).
* General Motors and Chrysler would have been allowed to go bankrupt.
* There would have been no significant new regulation of the financial industry.
* The Bush tax cuts for high incomes—something McCain had opposed before reversing himself—would have been extended.
* There would have been only modest health-insurance reform, at best.
* There would be no troop drawdown in Iraq.
* The United States might well have bombed or blockaded Iran in response to that country’s flawed election last year, or in response to its nuclear program.
* Finally, there would have been serial feuds between aides to the president and vice president, and Palin’s family would still be a soap opera.
Back in the real world, McCain was challenged by Republicans as the Arizona senate candidate for the upcoming mid-terms.
He’s now seen as yesterday’s man, insulting to someone who gave so much both as an air force pilot and a senator.
As Vanity Fair further revealed, according to a White House aide: “You can tell he can barely fucking stand the fact that he was beaten by Barack Obama.”
McCain? His legacy now may be creating Palin.