McCain on the Palin leaks: “These things happen”

posted at 12:20 pm on November 12, 2008 by Allahpundit

I figured the boss would be underwhelmed, but even Althouse thinks Maverick gave the ‘Cuda a raw deal with this exchange (not shown in the clip):

“I really believe that Sarah Palin is amongst some, like Tim Pawlenty and Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, there’s a group of young Republican governors and — mainly governors, but also some in the Senate — that I think are the next generation of leadership of our party,” he said.

Eh. He’s using national airtime to boost the party’s image as a whole instead of placing all its chips on Palin. I won’t knock him for that — but the de facto shrug at Leno’s question about the leaks is curious. Why not do a pro forma “renounce and reject”? Unless … some of the smears are true and he feels he can’t lie about it in good conscience.

One thing’s for sure: The staff party on Monday should be a humdinger. Exit statistic via a CNN press release that just landed in my inbox: Biden’s favorable rating as of this weekend was 64/25, McCain’s was 61/36, and Palin’s was … 49/43.

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Comment pages: 1 2

terryannonline on November 12, 2008 at 1:24 PM

Also, these anonymous sorces are attempting to squash Palin’s chances for 2012. While the tactic used (gossip) may be trivial and petty, the strategic goal most certainly is not.

baldilocks on November 12, 2008 at 1:31 PM

Most people aren’t aware of the sheer volume of Biden gaffes, or his policy positions. Many of those who are simply feel sorry for what an amazingly pathetic chump he is. Hence, the high favorables.

BadgerHawk on November 12, 2008 at 1:36 PM

Fine. But how does John McCain know what happened during the debate prep? He wasn’t there. So he’s going to go on national television and verbally attack people who worked on his campaign for two years over something that’s “anonymous” and he wasn’t there to witness.
terryannonline on November 12, 2008 at 1:12 PM

If McCain isn’t comfortable going on the record to defend his Vice Presidential candidate against a charge that she didn’t know who was in NAFTA and didn’t know Africa was a continent, then he should not have picked her. And, I’m not saying McCain has to name names. It’s enough to say “I don’t know who is responsible for these charges, but they are reprehensible. And if in fact someone on my campaign staff is responsible, that person should be ashamed of himself.”

Outlander on November 12, 2008 at 1:39 PM

By actively going after BS, you are getting into the gutter and maybe in someways legitimizing the nonsense.

terryannonline on November 12, 2008 at 1:31 PM

My 1:31 comment answers the question of why “getting in the gutter” needs to be done. There’s a long-term goal in play here.

baldilocks on November 12, 2008 at 1:39 PM

The discussion of whether JSM should come to Palin’s defense is being hijacked into ‘Governor Palin is a big girl and can handle herself’. I agree but, this is about doing what’s right and decent.

Senator McCain has failed to come to the aid of his “wing man”, where he was quick to come to the aid of our President to be when Senator Lieberman and others made comments that McCain didn’t care for in regard to Obama.

Senator McCain could, and should, have at least been as forthright in defense of Governor Palin as he was in defense of Senator Obama…At least!…

Gohawgs on November 12, 2008 at 1:48 PM

McCain won’t step up and defend a republican? I’m shocked! Yeah, that’s news. But, if someone was attacking Ted Kennedy….watch out, his nostrils would flare and he would get his Maverickness all up in a lather.

Yawn. He is old news. I’m tired of debating and hearing about him. He needs to fade into obscurity.

HornetSting on November 12, 2008 at 1:49 PM

OF COURSE THEY DO. John Edwards’ loyalists couldn’t wait to trash the Kerry people for mishandling him after the 2004 election. Al Gore staff people were sniping at each other all through the campaign in 2000 and afterward.

rockmom on November 12, 2008 at 12:49 PM

Thats “the right way”, a losing old potus candidate is forever lost , and should fall an the sword.
Not the other way around.
The VP should take the hits on the campaign , not after.

the_nile on November 12, 2008 at 1:52 PM

Yawn. He is old news. I’m tired of debating and hearing about him. He needs to fade into obscurity.


apoole on November 12, 2008 at 1:53 PM

Wow, He didn’t really defend her at all. I am so tired of him. He is a Hero. He did go through a lot. I admire him for that. But this is the icing off the cake. He could have been more sincere and said more for Palin.

sheebe on November 12, 2008 at 1:54 PM


This was NOT about you defending Sarah. This was about more than you going the extra mile beyond acknowledging these things happen in losing campaigns. This, ultimately, was about you communicating your extreme displeasure and your condemnation of these smears. I didn’t see you do that.

Christien on November 12, 2008 at 1:59 PM

McCain is an ass. Now he can slither back to his Senate seat and try to destroy the US by helping to push another shamnesty through Congress. I expect to see pictures of McShame hugging President Government and their new slew of 25 million anti-capitalist, anti-American Americans.

progressoverpeace on November 12, 2008 at 2:00 PM

Once again, the *cough* Maverick *cough* proves that he is only about John McCain. Country First my left rump cheek.

I am so glad this man is never going to be POTUS.

SimplyKimberly on November 12, 2008 at 2:14 PM

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m more than a little heartsick over the seeming endless string of betrayals and shows of bad faith during and after this campaign, particularly that evinced by the country club Republican pundit crowd; e.g., Brooks, Parker, Buckley, Noonan, et al; the McCain aides’ backbiting of Sarah Palin; the ever-so-nuanced endorsement of Obama by Colin Powell, and so on. It all seems to me like so much jockeying for access and connections to the incoming Obama Administration, since contacts cultivated so carefully during the Bush years are now so much Rolodex trash. The turncoat pundits, especially, are quislings rationalizing away their collusion with the new regime by claiming only a more moderate stance will save the GOP. Even Time magazine recommends we shift to center to accommodate the new middle. And they all–without exception–despise Sarah Palin and what they believe she represents. My solution? Go right. Support Palin and other genuinely conservative candidates. Stand for something real and let the middle come to us.

troyriser_gopftw on November 12, 2008 at 2:17 PM

How pathetic. That is why McCain lost, he is really not a nice person. Instead of defending Palin, he gives excuses.

mariloubaker on November 12, 2008 at 2:25 PM

What? But I thought McCain would have lost in a landslide without her!!!!

So you think 56 million people voted for John McCain because he’s John McCain. Heh, “You think,” that’s a good one.

Jim Treacher on November 12, 2008 at 2:34 PM

Wow after all the poison thrown at Gov Palin, the fact that she’s at about fifty percent favorability is amazing. I’m surprised McCain is over sixty percent favorable, that boggles the mind after his recent abdication of character. I guess it was his concession speech that hiked his favorables, as nothing warms the hearts of dems more than a republican conceding defeat.

eaglewingz08 on November 12, 2008 at 2:48 PM

Wow, what leadership skills he has, now I’m more saddened that he didn’t get elected.

Sure he can’t handle a staff, won’t take responsibility for his staff’s actions, and won’t fix problems caused by his people; but that’s how a leader acts.

Remember the glorious adage of Presidents past:

“The Buck Stops… Somewhere Else, I don’t know where, what am I supposed to do about it; this sort of thing just happens”.

That quote moves me to tears thinking of the possibility of following a leader who truly lives up to every word.

… and if you can’t detect the sarcasm in this comment, go see your doctor or therapist; as this might be a sign of a severe medical problem.

gekkobear on November 12, 2008 at 2:51 PM

To Simply Kimberly,

So you are happy Obama will be able to stack the supreme court with far left justices.

So you are happy McCain isn’t president so instead of roberts type judges we get far left wingers on the supreme court.

You are happy Obama is going to have NO drilling as a policy.

These so called conservatives that are so happy that McCain lost obviously don’t care about the issues.

McCain’s ACU was 80 so because he isn’t perfect we are happy we have the most liberal senator as president.

McCain during the campaign demanded that the infighting stop.

McCain told another advisor how inappropriate it was.

By the way Palin was a disaster for McCain.

Palin is the independent killer.

Palin is the suburban women killer for any republican.

Palin was a disaster on the ticket. 10 percent said she was ready to be president.

15 percent more people said they were less likely to vote for McCain.

McCain was getting a large percentage of the hillary vote before Palin.

McCain numbers went off a cliff with independents after the Palin pick.

McCain would have lost the election anyway because of the titanic shift in the latino vote in the southwest but without Palin McCain would have been very close in the popular vote.

Palin was a disaster with suburban and independent women. She was the biggest gaffe a campaign has ever made.

ryandan on November 12, 2008 at 2:52 PM

ryandan, do you seriously think I AM happy about an Obama presidency?

I’m just glad McCain isn’t POTUS. Of course I never wanted him in the first place. He was a bad choice as a candidate and I’m glad time and his actions have proven me right. McCain is only about McCain. I wanted an actual conservative Republican to vote for.

SimplyKimberly on November 12, 2008 at 2:57 PM

She was the biggest gaffe a campaign has ever made.

If getting me interested in the campaign and trying to learn more about Obama is a “gaffe,” not to mention infusing the moribund McCain campaign with amazing amounts of energy: more gaffes, please.

Jim Treacher on November 12, 2008 at 3:00 PM

McCain isn’t only about McCain.

McCain refused to leave his men behind after having his arms mangled and his teeth knocked out. McCain stayed for 3 more years.

How can you be glad McCain isn’t POTUS. Because McCain isn’t POTUS Obama is.

When Obama is picking Scalia’s replacement for the supreme court you will wish McCain had won.

When Obama reverses Bush’s executive order on offshore drilling you will wish McCain had won.

McCain told his aides to stop the backbiting in the final week.

McCain defended Palin yesterday.

McCain it was reported was calling aides saying how inappropriate this backbiting was.

McCain has done everything he could but once again he is the punching bag.

I don’t know how just one week after a marxist is our CIC you can say you are glad McCain didn’t win. Glad isn’t the word that comes to mind. I am horrified McCain lost and Obama is now CIC.

Obama is so bad I wish Hillary was CIC.

Yeah Obama advisors meeting with Hamas before the election and Obama saying to keep it quiet. Somehow I am not thinking how glad I am that McCain lost. I am thinking how much it sucks that he lost.

ryandan on November 12, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Finally ryandan, that’s exactly correct.

Before the Palin pick, McCain was up in the polls so far it looked like he couldn’t lose, then after the pick his numbers dropped like a stone…

Oh wait, sorry. Had that chart upside-down again.

I guess McCain without Palin would have gotten a good bounce from the economic disaster? He would have gone from his down 6 pre-Palin to better than down 6 for the election because his showing for the bank bailout was so phenomenal?

Interesting take. I do have to say your theory works better if I turn the charts back upside down again though for the pre and post Palin pick; then I can show a 6-8 point loss from Palin. With the charts right-side up, not so much.

gekkobear on November 12, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Okay, so let me be clear. My statement about being happy McCain isn’t POTUS isn’t about Obama v. McCain. That choice has been made. Obama is the next POTUS. That is the way democracy works.

My statement was entirely about McCain. McCain IS all about McCain. I’ve said it since he announced that he was running for POTUS and I still say it, John McCain was a bad choice to represent Republican values and the Republican party platform.

Sarah Palin was the only reason I even considered casting my vote for McCain. She energized me and made me consider giving my vote to the man that has continually spit on thie party so he could be the Maverick. In the end I wrote in my vote for Reagan/Palin. I’ve always wanted to vote for Reagan (too young when he ran) and I could not vote for McCain. He does not represent me. And I knew it was a safe move to make because Texas was in McCain’s column no matter what. My vote didn’t help Obama one bit. Thank God for Texas!

SimplyKimberly on November 12, 2008 at 3:13 PM

Dick Morris’ take on the Palin effect:

Sarah Palin made a vast difference in McCain’s favor. Compared to 2004, McCain lost 11 points among white men, according to the Fox News exit poll, but only four points among white women. Obama’s underperformance among white women, evident throughout the fall, may be chalked up, in large part, to the influence of Sarah Palin. She provided a rallying point for women who saw their political agenda in terms larger than abortion. She addressed the question of what it is like to be a working mother in today’s economy and society and resonated with tens of millions of white women who have not responded to the more traditional, and liberal, advocates for their gender.

Y-not on November 12, 2008 at 3:13 PM

Gov. Palin’s next run for the marbles will be a whole new ball game.

You can bet she’ll be at the top of the ticket and it’ll be no holds barred from start to finish.

Love her politics or hate her politics she will put it right out there, unapologetically.

Speakup on November 12, 2008 at 3:14 PM

ryandan on November 12, 2008 at 3:06 PM

The only reason I voted for the “Maverick” was because of Sarah Palin. Many conservatives just stayed home because they couldn’t stomach voting for someone that has thumbed his nose at his party for years.
We have a chance to rebuild the Republican Party, get back to our roots, stand up for our values. The Maverick and his friends have no place in our party. They do not share our values.
Am I sick that Obama is president? Yes. Do I feel sorry for McCain. Hell no!

Mavericks lose elections….”these things happen”.

HornetSting on November 12, 2008 at 3:16 PM

After the Biden Pick McCain was up two percent in the gallup poll.

Obama got a bigger bounce out of his convention than McCain did.

There were polls that had McCain closer without Palin on the ticket.

With Palin on the ticket it was 53-46 without Palin it was 52-48 according to a poll right before the election.

Palin was a drag with independents.

Jindal would have been a better pick but he refused to be vetted.

Another disaster is the young latino vote.

McCain lost the young latino vote 76-19.

In Nevada the latino vote increased from 10 to 16 percent.

Sennsennbrenner putting a felony provision into his bill energized the far left activists.

Sensennbrenner and Tancredo saying Miami is like a third world city.

These english only bills.

Border security should be dealt without the rabble rousing from the likes of Tancredo.

Looking at the titanic shift in the vote in the southwest I don’t see how a republican can ever win the white house again.

The left has so much institutional power. You have liberal professors turning our youth to the far left and now you have the hispanic group voting so one sided like african americans.

The white vote has gone from 90 percent to 74 percent.

White voters don’t vote so one sided across the country like hispanics and african americans which will make it impossible for a republican to win the white house again.

ryandan on November 12, 2008 at 3:23 PM

ryandan on November 12, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Uh, the election is over. Obama won. Shut up.

HornetSting on November 12, 2008 at 3:24 PM

Yeah, ryandan – you and that pesky truth of yours needs to shut up and just go away!!/s

wise_man on November 12, 2008 at 3:29 PM

wise_man on November 12, 2008 at 3:29 PM

The election is over. You can’t gather anymore points, wise-man.

HornetSting on November 12, 2008 at 3:32 PM

Have you checked your blood pressure today, wise_man?

Jim Treacher on November 12, 2008 at 3:34 PM

ryandan, you wrote, ‘White voters don’t vote so one sided across the country like hispanics and african americans which will make it impossible for a republican to win the white house again.’ lolwut? I love it when we’re counted out. Well, just keep thinking those happy thoughts. For one thing, most ethnic groups don’t vote in monolithic blocks. Obama is an exception to this, of course; the symbolic value of his candidacy (and incumbency in four years) would garner 95% support among the African-American community, in any case. For another, I am old enough to remember Jimmy Carter. The four years of Carter-like malaise almost certainly coming our way will seed the ground for a viable, electable conservative candidacy–assuming that candidate is inspiring enough and telegenic enough to use the media effectively, going through and around them to get to the voters. There are other reasons, as well–the strength of our ideas, for one–but I think you get the point.

troyriser_gopftw on November 12, 2008 at 3:56 PM

McCain is an ambarassment when he goes on shows like this.

How can he not defend Palin from these anonymous attacks!?

TheMightyQuinn on November 12, 2008 at 4:06 PM

My favorite part in all this is how Romney got blamed.

Dr B on November 12, 2008 at 4:06 PM

My favorite part in all this is how Romney got blamed.

Dr B on November 12, 2008 at 4:06 PM

He’s a closet democrat. Blame everyone else and don’t take any personal responsibility. I respect his service to this country. But, that is the extent of my admiration for him. I voted for Palin and AGAINST Obama. I feel that the conservative/republican party will be better for this. We can finally put OUR IDEALS and OUR VALUES front and center.

HornetSting on November 12, 2008 at 4:08 PM

Biden’s favorable rating as of this weekend was 64/25, McCain’s was 61/36, and Palin’s was … 49/43

What’s Hillary’s fav/unfav? According to RCP her final avg was 48/44 and I believe we can all agree that she probably would have beaten Mac too. I’m not worried about Palin’s unfav rating. It can only improve as the election passes in the rearview mirror and she’s no longer just the attack dog.

Btw, what was the % of those that haven’t heard of Biden? I bet it was more than for Palin.

BrianBoru on November 12, 2008 at 5:02 PM

Maverick: Effing. Coward.

fossten on November 12, 2008 at 5:07 PM

McCain, the Ed McMahon of Politics.

Second Banana slipping on his own a-peel.

profitsbeard on November 12, 2008 at 6:06 PM

I’d bet Frankin’s favorables beat Palin’s too. (groan) Does this have anything to do with the win/loss correlation? What are favourability ratings? Seem like nonsense. I’m not a poll watcher. Sue me!

anti-boomer on November 13, 2008 at 2:44 AM

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