Sarah Palin: An Affirmative Action Pick For Vice-President

One of John McCain’s closest advisers during the 2008 campaign reveals that Sarah Palin ended up on the short list of Vice-Presidential contenders without much vetting at all:

Aides to John McCain initially added Sarah Palin to his “short list” of potential running mates because McCain wanted a woman on the list, according to his campaign manager.

McCain entered the vice presidential selection process with a list of five possibilities: Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Michael Bloomberg, Charlie Crist, and Joe Lieberman, according to Washingtonian‘s profile (which isn’t online) of Washington lawyer A.B. Culvahouse, who led the search.

“As the clock was running out, [campaign manager Rick] Davis say McCain asked to have at least one woman on the short list. His advisers went back to the long list and plucked out Palin’s name,” the magazine reported.

This isn’t entirely unsurprising. The campaign book Game Change cataloged just how minimal the McCain campaigns vetting and preparation of Palin was prior to her being announced as McCain’s running mate on August 29, 2008. More generally, though, it serves as further confirmation of the slip-shod, some would say irresponsible, decision making process that McCain engaged in while selecting his running mate.

 

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Politicians, Quick Takes, Sarah Palin, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. narciso says:

    No prior research is needed for any of your half baked conclusions, and most of the questionable ‘facts’ in Game Change’ have been debunked:

    http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2009/04/ab-culvahouse-defends-sarah-palin.html

  2. Nothing in that article contradicts Game Change and, of course Culvahouse would retroactively a decision that he, along with McCain, was most responsible for making.

    Nice try, though.

  3. narciso says:

    One is led to rely on Ben Smith, a known Journolister, for the gist of the article, Consider the people who vetted Joe Biden, among them Carolyn Kennedy and Eric Holder, both of their
    judgement has been called into question, multiple times.

  4. John Malkovich says:
  5. narciso says:

    McCain had met her that previous February, and had gotten some impression of her, they had similar reform records in their perspective bailiwicks, she was not particularly liked by the establishment in her state, because she had challenged it’s fundamental precepts. We know now, that Schmidt and Wallace, had decided to give up the campaign back around the end of September by the latest, consequently many of the anonymous remarks they made then, have
    to be viewed in that light.

  6. Kylopod says:

    If your point is that Palin was poorly vetted and a spectacularly bad choice for vp, we couldn’t agree more.

    But your attempt to link this conclusion with the more general idea of making an “affirmative action” pick and looking specifically for a woman is unfounded. One can look for a woman to fill out a position without doing it in a slipshod fashion. Saint Ronnie himself was very open about the fact that he would fill his first Supreme Court vacancy with a woman–that didn’t mean the pick was quick or random or that he was sticking an unqualified bimbo on the Court. For that matter, there was nothing wrong with McCain looking for a woman to fill the vp slot, if that’s what he wanted; there were plenty of qualified Republican women to choose from; at least one was even speculated about before McCain’s announcement (Kay Bailey Hutchison).

  7. Tano says:

    the more general idea of making an “affirmative action” pick and looking specifically for a woman is unfounded.

    That seems to be exactly what happened.

    One can look for a woman to fill out a position without doing it in a slipshod fashion.

    Obviously. But why do you associate an “affirmative action” pick with a pick made in a “slipshod” fashion. What does the one have to do with the other?

    Saint Ronnie himself was very open about the fact that he would fill his first Supreme Court vacancy with a woman–that didn’t mean the pick was quick or random or that he was sticking an unqualified bimbo on the Court

    Again – who has said anything about “quick”, “random”, or “bimbo”? The charge is that it was an affirmative action pick. And the scenario described seems to be exactly that. A list of possible nominees was drawn up in the normal manner, using the normal criteria. Then it is realized that the list underrepresents women, and so a decision is made to add a woman. So that this underrepresentation is rectified. That is “affirmative action”, plain and simple.

  8. Tano says:

    Clarification.
    The end of my last paragraph is describing the selection of Palin by McCain, not O’Conner by Reagan, if that was not clear,

  9. An Interested Party says:

    One is led to rely on Ben Smith, a known Journolister, for the gist of the article, Consider the people who vetted Joe Biden, among them Carolyn Kennedy and Eric Holder, both of their judgement has been called into question, multiple times.

    Umm, these are hardly effective arguments for Sarah Palin…try a little harder next time…

    Saint Ronnie himself was very open about the fact that he would fill his first Supreme Court vacancy with a woman…

    In much the same way that Bush 41 picked Clarence Thomas for SCOTUS…of course, IOKIYAR…

  10. narciso says:

    Well seeing how often you have forwarded statements from Crooks and Liars, or Think Progress
    that ended up not being true, lwhich have coordinated in such a way, that suggests the Journolists, actually his track record and yours is suspect,.

  11. Kylopod says:

    @AIP

    >In much the same way that Bush 41 picked Clarence Thomas for SCOTUS

    The difference is that Bush always maintained he selected Thomas only because he was the best qualified–which was about as convincing as Reagan’s claim never to have dyed his hair.

    @Tano

    in case I wasn’t clear, I’m not saying there wasn’t an “affirmative action” element to McCain’s choice. I’m just saying there’s a responsible way to conduct aa, and McCain’s wasn’t an example of it.

  12. labman57 says:

    McCain was no doubt highly impressed with her ass…ets.

  13. jwest says:

    Screeds such as this are common and expected from Doug.

    What the world waits for is the definitive article that lays out in detail the reasons James Joyner, lead author and editor in chief of OTB, thinks Sarah Palin is unqualified to be president.

  14. MM says:

    KNOWN JOURNOLISTER!

  15. wr says:

    I’m so glad the Tea people around here have discovered that whenever there’s an irrefutable fact that doesn’t fit their world view, all they have to do is scream Journolist and it magically goes away.

  16. Pug says:

    KNOWN JOURNOLISTER!

    Would that be the same thing as a card carrying Journolister?

  17. Jay Tea says:

    It’s always impressed me how many charges the left levels against Sarah Palin tend to apply even more to Barack Obama.

    No, not all of them, but a hell of a lot.

    J.