03 September 2008

Not So A-Palin? Top GOPers on “a Cynical Choice”

This has got to hurt. As most folks are probably aware by now, some major Republican players have been caught talking some smack about Sarah Palin today.

Top Conservatives Peggy Noonan (columnist and former presidential speechwriter), Mike Murphy (a GOP strategist who has worked with Senator McCain and Governor Mitt Romney, among other politicos), and MSNBC political analyst Chuck Todd forgot all about how tricky microphones can be, and entered into an "off the record" conversation when they thought their broadcast had gone to a commercial break. From The Guardian:

When NBC news political director Chuck Todd asked rhetorically whether Palin is "the most qualified woman they could have turned to", the tape shows Noonan replying: "The most qualified? No! I think they went for this, excuse me, political bullshit about narratives."

She later added, "Every time the Republicans do that, because it's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it."
[. . . .]
Murphy echoed Noonan's candid assessment, asking Todd on the live microphone, "You know what's really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism, and this is cynical."

Wow. So how do you even follow that up? Except by pointing out that in this morning’s Wall Street Journal, Noonan’s column, “Declarations,” celebrated the Palin selection, while acknowledging its potential to backfire, and warned the press off of sexist critiques of Alaska’s governor and snipes against her family, including the colorful statement, “And leave her kid alone, bitch.”

Noonan has since followed up this morning’s The Wall Street Journal column with an explanation that both apologizes for her profanity and expresses her concerns that the GOP leadership remains stuck in cultural assumptions popular in the 1980s and 1990s, and she believes, rightfully so, that the American people have changed in the past ten to twenty years. She also mentions a talk she had with Kay Bailey Hutchinson earlier today. While looking at Hutchinson, she thought “why not her?.” Good question.

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