One thing is what conservative pundits are saying in public about the McCain-Palin ticket. Another thing is what they think in private. Thanks to an accidental open-mike moment, we know the latter with regard to Mike Murphy and former Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan. It turns out that they really think the choice of Palin was gimmicky, and a cynical attempt to create a ‘political narrative’ that would help McCain, but which would almost certainly hurt him instead. They are saddened that McCain stooped this low. The Republican political elite is “all bummed out” about it.
Here is the transcript:
‘ Mike Murphy: You know, because I come out of the blue swing state governor world: Engler, Whitman, Tommy Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. I mean, these guys — this is how you win a Texas race, just run it up. And it’s not gonna work. And —
Peggy Noonan: It’s over.
Mike Murphy: Still McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech to do himself some good.
Chuck Todd: I also think the Palin pick is insulting to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, too.
Peggy Noonan: Saw Kay this morning.
CT: Yeah, she’s never looked comfortable about this —
MM: They’re all bummed out.
CT: Yeah, I mean is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to?
Peggy Noonan: The most qualified? No! I think they went for this — excuse me– political bullshit about narratives —
CT: Yeah they went to a narrative.
MM: I totally agree.
Peggy Noonan: Every time the Republicans do that, because that’s not where they live and it’s not what they’re good at, they blow it.
MM: You know what’ sreally the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism, and this is cynical.
CT: This is cynical, and as you called it, gimmicky.
The remark about McCain not being cynical, but this choice being cynical, sums up the change in McCain’s demeanor since he started running for president this time.
But the real cynicism was the RNC talking points.
They want to fight big government?
They want to cut taxes on the middle classes?
They are reformers and against corruption?
See this Daily Kos diary for how implausible it all is.