....is the campaign you deserve.
The McCain campaign stumbled across the finish line last night and barely had time to grab a drink before it was waylaid by a bus.
Even in the final hours of the campaign the two camps-the Palin and McCain camps that is-were continuing to take shots at each other through leaks to the press. The blood-letting there still continues, this time more on the record (Laura Rozen of War and Piece calls it, "Sheesh. The stuff of sit-com. If not of governing.")
The two sides are trying to lay blame for who hobbled an already shaky campaign, McCain or Palin. Yet the two are inextricably intertwined.
Palin will go down as one of the least viable candidates ever added to a major-party ticket. Her inexperience and inexplicable ability to view the world will mark her as either kryptonite for the reasonable world, or the choice of the far right for 2012.
McCain himself, however, has only himself to blame for foisting the Alaskan albatross on the Republican party. His blind roll of the dice doomed what little chance he had with moderate America. At that point his attacks and desperate pleas of acceptance to the right-wing of the party had already taken the shine off the memory of John McCain most moderate and independent voters had of him from the 2000 Presidential campaign. But many were likely to begrudge the man a bit of gamesmanship in his ambition.
Unfortunately for McCain, Palin was the nail and his own erratic and deconstructive response to the fiscal calamity befalling the country was the hammer that sealed the coffin on his campaign.
There were a dozen little things that helped take out the tires on the "Straight Talk Express" (the complete reversals of position, the lack of discipline, zero message, a dismissal if not a disdain for practical policy ideas, the lack of money, to name a few).
However, I prefer to believe that the voters were registering a rejection of what Palin and McCain stood for-an unserious campaign running on smears and fear in a time in which the American public were hyperaware of their desire for serious leadership. In challenging times the public wants someone who can offer them a solution, a way forward, or a future. Simply dredging the bottoms for the next missile won't cut it.