Johnny Rolls the Dice

Let’s be blunt: the choice of Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, as John McCain’s running mate is a choice made from a position of weakness, not from a position of strength. Palin is a woman, and so her pick is historic, the first woman to serve on a Republican ticket, only 24 years after the Democrats broke that particular barrier. Maybe in 2032, a person of color might even show up on the GOP ticket.

But Sarah Palin is 44. She’s been Alaska’s governor for just over a year; before that, she was Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, a city of 5,470 people. She has the least significant experience of any candidate to serve on a national ticket in modern history. She has no national security experience whatsoever. Her areas of strength are pushing for drilling for oil, which hardly makes McCain look less in the pocket of big oil, and being incandescently anti-choice, which is not the way to the hearts and minds of erstwhile Clinton supporters, and might indeed serve to highlight McCain’s anti-choice position.

It is the experience thing that will hurt the most, though. Don’t forget, Sarah Palin would be a heartbeat away from the presidency, the heartbeat of the oldest man ever elected to the office. I hope John McCain lives a long, long life, certainly another decade or two. But we all grow old, and we all die, and the older we get, the less time we have. Palin does not strike me as a woman who could slide into the presidency at a moment’s notice. And her very presence on the ticket will undermine any attempt to paint Obama as an inexperienced buffoon; Obama has more national experience, more life experience, and more gravitas than Palin.

John McCain is an ardent craps player, and as anyone who’s played craps knows, it’s a game of fast action, quick swings, high risk, and high reward. McCain’s sitting on the pass line here, trying to roll a six. And maybe he’ll get it. But he’s just as likely to crap out. Sarah Palin’s performance over the next few months will determine whether this was a brilliant or brutal choice. But give McCain this: it wasn’t a safe choice. And it will be interesting to see what the choice brings.

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30 Responses to Johnny Rolls the Dice

  1. Pingback: Who is Sarah Palin? Governor of Alaska and John Mccain’s Running mate? » There’s a Blog in my Soup

  2. 2
    E to the M says:

    As an avid craps player myself I have to point out that technically he’s more likely to roll craps than the 6. But the point is still well made.

  3. 3
    Silenced is Foo says:

    My problem with Palin is less about her experience and more the blatant cynicism in her selection. I doubt McCain had even met Palin before his handlers suggested that she be the running mate… whether she’s an impressive, powerful woman or not, she’s there simply because she’s not another old white man. I’m surprised they didn’t tap Rice by the same logic.

    I do have to say – I’m stunned that she’s taking this on. She’s a mother of 5, and has a 4-month old with Down’s syndrome. That is a heavy burden to bear on top of the VP job. She’s the head of a conservative household – how much you want to bet that her husband isn’t exactly Mr. Mom? Their kids are going to be raised by the help.

    Either way, she seems to be an impressive and respectable woman, even if she is a typical republican fundamentalist. Too bad her selection is obvious pandering instead of a legitimate selection.

    Even if you consider her and Obama’s experience to be equivalent (and some would argue that – her short term as Governor has been very active, from what I’ve heard) the big difference is that there is nobody’s judgement to question with Obama’s selection – Obama was picked by the Democratic party voters. There is no single to look at and say “why didn’t you pick someone more experienced instead of the black guy?”

    Here, on the other hand, we have McCain’s first and most important decision as a party candidate – the one decision he makes now that will carry into his possible presidency.

  4. 4
    Jeff Fecke says:

    Oh, there’s no doubt one can look at this as an affirmative action pick, and no doubt Palin wouldn’t have been picked if she was Steve Palin, one-term governor of Alaska. But okay — the same could be said of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984. I guess I’m glad the barrier was broken regardless.

  5. 5
    Jake Squid says:

    I can’t tell you how disappointed I am that he didn’t choose Senator Zoidberg. I don’t think that I’ll find this nearly as entertaining unless it does turn out to be true that she fired the state’s Public Safety Commissioner for not firing a state trooper who happens to be her soon to be ex-brother-in-law. That would be an astounding show of hypocrisy & hilarity.

  6. 6
    sylphhead says:

    This was definitely a reactive choice, not a proactive one. In any conflict, it’s always better to be the initiator. But McCain has been running a reactive campaign since March.

    In the end, it’s perhaps better for McCain to play a high risk, high reward game because he can’t play same old, same old; too many historic indicators point toward a loss*. I must admit I was salivating at the prospect of a Romney pick.

    The main thing seems to be that McCain is playing for the disaffected Democratic vote (be they conservative Democrats or Clinton holdovers from the primary) as his general strategy. This may not be the best or easiest strategy from a historical perspective – namely, in a time of Democratic ascension, when party fervour is high. Whatever the results of the presidential election, Democratic gains in both houses are all but assured, and the only competitive gubernatorial race also coming at the expense of the GOP (in Missouri). Of course, a lot of current Republican energy is devoted to denying that there is Democratic momentum. Personally, I think souring independents on Obama- particularly male ones of the “Western independent” mold – and holding onto the base and quietly riding out typical Democratic in-divisions (without actively targeting them, which risks significant backlash) would have been the path of least resistance. But again, there’s the high risk, high reward thing.

    * Although one more soothing interpretation is that the McCain campaign is more pessimistic about the tightening August polls than are conservative bloggers – and for what it’s worth, the polls aren’t tight anymore as Gallup has Obama taking a 49-41 post-convention bounce lead. High risk, high reward moves become more enticing the further behind you think you are.

  7. 7
    nobody.really says:

    Palin does not strike me as a woman who could slide into the presidency at a moment’s notice. And her very presence on the ticket will undermine any attempt to paint Obama as an inexperienced buffoon; Obama has more national experience, more life experience, and more gravitas than Palin.

    This is one of the most curious aspects of the choice. Arguably McCain had two great attributes coming into this race. First, he’s reputation as a POW made him more credible when he make symbolic statements about putting the interests of the nation above politics. Second, he was able to emphasize Obama’s inexperience.

    Now, who can look at McCain’s choice and honestly say that this was the choice of someone who was putting the national interest above some kind of pursuit of political advantage? And now every time McCain tries to hammer on that weakness, all the Democrats have to say is, “Careful, John – don’t wanna overstress that 72-yr-old heart of yours!” Heaven forbid McCain would actually experience any health-related episode during the next 60 days. Even if it’s just a sprained ankle, it would be Game Over for that ticket.

    Of course, Palin brings to job the experience of being the executive of a large state – heck, just like W! Could the comparisons be any easier? Why, the whole administration will be just like an extension of the current one – only with the old, Cheney-like guy finally put at the top of the ticket where he belongs. What more could America ask for?

    I have to suspect that this year’s VP debates will be really, really painful. And, while historically the VP debates have not influenced the election much, this year might be the exception, given the probability that McCain’s VP might actually be called upon to do her primary roll.

    From the depths of my ignorance about this candidate, here’s are the downsides I can see for the Democrats: First, this choice may prompt Democrats to overreact. Imagine if Democratic partisans – or even impartial media folk – start questioning the wisdom of this choice by repeatedly emphasizing the idea that old people are unfit for high office. What better way to provoke a backlash among seniors, the most reliable (and well-funded) portion of the electorate? Or if Biden savages Palin during the VP debates and provokes public compassion for her?

    Second, and more morbidly, maybe ex-Hillary supporters would be attracted to a McCain/Palin ticket precisely because they anticipate the likelihood that McCain could die in office.

    But in general, I think Fecke and sylphhead call this right: Recall, Mondale picked Ferraro not out of a position of strength, but as a desperate gambit to attract attention away from the Reagan juggernaut. (While some allege that Mondale hurt his chances for the presidency by picking Ferraro, VP scholar Joel Goldstein disputes this; Mondale faced a daunting fight regardless.) When you’re behind on the scoreboard and the clock is running, you go for the Hail Mary play — not because you expect it to work, but because you can’t identify any other plays with a better chance of working.

    At the risk of offending my fellow readers of a feminist-leaning blog, McCain seems weaker to me as a result of this selection.

  8. 8
    RonF says:

    Hey, E to the M, making a 6 is the easiest point to make. Now, making a 4 – that would be a well made point.

    Palin does not strike me as a woman who could slide into the presidency at a moment’s notice. And her very presence on the ticket will undermine any attempt to paint Obama as an inexperienced buffoon; Obama has more national experience, more life experience, and more gravitas than Palin.

    Me neither. But then, no one’s trying to paint Obama as a buffoon, just as inexperienced. And the selection of Palin doesn’t balance that out. Much as the point will try to get made these next few months, people are going to presume that McCain will finish out his term without significant health problems. Obama is running against McCain, not Palin.

    Hell, you want to talk about buffoons – Nixon had Spiro Agnew as VP! And Bush I had Dan Quayle. Would you have liked to see either one of them as President? No, me neither, and it was discussed at the time, believe me. Whether or not people think that the VP candidate would be a good President has not historically affected the election and despite McCain’s age, I don’t think it will this time.

    The American public has a great capacity for sticking it’s fingers in it’s ears and singing LA LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU for given issues, and this is one of them.

    I wonder how she’ll do in debate against Joe Biden? Joe hasn’t really had to campaign against a tough opponent for quite some time. BTW, Joe’s betting his career on this one – he’s at the end of his current Senate term.

  9. 9
    sylphhead says:

    To clarify on my position, I don’t think Palin is a weak pick. (By historical standards, maybe, but compared to Pawlenty and Romney? A no name governor who’s unpopular in his own very marginal swing state, and the living embodiment of greasiness?) I think the fact that she was picked reveals that the McCain campaign knows what its position is, which is at odds with what some activist Republicans have insisted it is.

    I wonder how she’ll do in debate against Joe Biden? Joe hasn’t really had to campaign against a tough opponent for quite some time. BTW, Joe’s betting his career on this one – he’s at the end of his current Senate term.

    There’s no law that forbids Vice Presidents from running on two tickets at the same time. Lloyd Bentsen, of “You sir are no Jack Kennedy” fame, ran both for Veep and Senator in Texas back in 1988. And so did Quayle, I believe. All the Veep has to do if he’s (or rather, his guy’s) elected is to hand in his resignation before the Electoral College is certified in December. This is a bit complicated by the fact that in states with incoming governors, the new governor gets to name the successor, and indeed the current Delaware governor is retiring and they’ll be electing a new one this November. But, it’s not that complicated, because the Delaware governorship is considered safe for the Democrats.

  10. 10
    Daran says:

    As an avid craps player myself I have to point out that technically he’s more likely to roll craps than the 6. But the point is still well made.

    I don’t play craps, but rolling craps (2, 3, or 12) at 4 chances in 36 is less likely than of rolling a six (5 chances in 36).

    Unless of course “rolling the 6″ means something different from simply rolling that total.

  11. 11
    RonF says:

    In craps, you open with an initial roll (your “come out” roll). If you roll 7 or 11 everyone on the pass line wins and picks up their money. If you roll a 2, 3 or 12 it’s “craps” and everyone loses (“Crap! I lost!”). If you roll a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 that’s your point. Various bets can then be made, but the important thing is that you keep rolling until you either roll a 7, at which point your roll ends, or you once again roll the same total as the point. That’s called “making your point”. A 2 or 3 or 11 or 12 cannot be your point – neither can a 7. Making your point when it’s a 4 is a lot harder than making it when it’s a 6.

    Hence the pun.

  12. 12
    Lu says:

    Second, and more morbidly, maybe ex-Hillary supporters would be attracted to a McCain/Palin ticket precisely because they anticipate the likelihood that McCain could die in office.

    Not unless they really think any vagina will do. Palin is, as Jeff so nicely put it, incandescently anti-choice, she’s a climate-change denier, and she would like to see creationism taught in public schools. (She’s been too smart and/or too busy with other things to push for it, but she did say she was in favor of it.) I’d vote for Senator Clinton in either position on the ticket, but I’d as soon vote for Palin as for James Dobson.

    That would be as soon as you can show me clear evidence that hell has frozen over.

  13. 13
    Lu says:

    By the way, if we’re going to refer to the major-party candidates as Obama, Biden, McCain and Palin, can we please refer to Hillary Clinton as Clinton, or, if that could be ambiguous, as Senator Clinton? I understand that it’s largely just to avoid confusion, but calling her Hillary all the time makes it sound like we don’t take her seriously.

  14. 14
    Bjartmarr says:

    Lu,

    Hillaryclinton.com has “Hillary” in big letters across the top. There’s also “Get email from Hillary”, a “Hillary” tab, and on the left we can “See Hillary’s speech at the DNC” on “Hillary TV”; we can also “Follow Hillary through Denver” or “Contribute to Friends of Hillary”, get a “The Hillary I Know” bumper sticker from “The Hillary Store”, and the whole thing is paid for by “Friends of Hillary”.

    It’s not because we don’t take her seriously. It’s the way she has branded herself.

  15. 15
    Lu says:

    True, Bjartmarr. (Maybe she herself did that to avoid confusion and/or to keep people’s minds off Bill?) I’m probably being too knee-jerk about it, but it still gets under my skin.

  16. 16
    Jeff Fecke says:

    By the way, if we’re going to refer to the major-party candidates as Obama, Biden, McCain and Palin, can we please refer to Hillary Clinton as Clinton, or, if that could be ambiguous, as Senator Clinton? I understand that it’s largely just to avoid confusion, but calling her Hillary all the time makes it sound like we don’t take her seriously.

    I really think this endures due to the confusion — indeed, I’ve seen Bill referred to as, well, “Bill” quite a bit of late; I don’t think it’s meant as a slight, at least not by everyone who does it.

    That said, I think it reads as a slight, which is why I’ve tried to be scrupulous about using Sen. Clinton’s name in the same way as I use Sen. Obama’s — I may refer to either by either name, but I try to make sure if I refer to Hillary, I’m also referring to Barack, and if I’m referring to Obama, I’m also referring to Clinton. It’s just common courtesy for the Junior Senator from New York, and the person I still think should be our next Attorney General, if only because it would make the wingnuts’ heads explode.

  17. 17
    Tom T. says:

    She’s the head of a conservative household – how much you want to bet that her husband isn’t exactly Mr. Mom?

    This assertion may lean a bit unfairly into stereotype. This article is a puff piece, but assuming it’s true, it suggests that Mr. Palin does a little around the house. I’m not suggesting that cooking, bills, and driving are somehow praiseworthy or even a fair share of the housework, but at least it sounds like he’s not a stereotypical do-nothing.

    At home, Palin takes care of the cooking, the bills and other domestic paperwork, in addition to driving the kids to extracurricular activities like basketball and soccer, according to his wife. He divides much of his time between Wasilla, where Track is recovering from shoulder surgery, and the capital in Juneau, where the Palin daughters are in school.

    “He can go on just an hour or two of sleep a night. He says, ‘I can sleep when I die,’ ” said Sarah Palin. “There is no way I could have done this job without his tremendous contributions to the home life. He’s able to keep it organized, like a well-oiled machine.”

  18. 18
    Donna says:

    I think McCain chose Palin in order to appeal to culural conservatives/religious right and Clinton’s supporters who want a woman in the white house. But by splitting the difference I also think that no one will be happy with this pick. If he really wanted to get cultural conservatives/religious right to the polls he should have went straight to Huckabee as his VP, and if he wanted to get Clinton supporters then there are a multitude of well known, respected, competent, and experienced Republican women to choose from. I’d have been shaking in my shoes if he chose Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Olympia Snowe, Elizabeth Dole, or Christie Todd Whitman for example. Palin is a head-scratcher to be sure. It’s the fact that so little is known of her, and that will scare off many maybe even most in those constituencies McCain is hoping to ignite with this pick.

  19. 19
    Robert says:

    Conservatives are ecstatic; we love Palin. Some conservatives have been pushing her for a long time; she was touted as a potential combo with Giuliani waaaaay back there.

    About the Hillary voters, I don’t have any definitive evidence.

  20. 20
    Lu says:

    Are Clinton voters really that stupid, that McCain can condescend to them by picking a rabid conservative who just happens to be female? I sure hope not. Everyone I know who voted for Clinton likes her policies as well as her gender. (I voted for Obama myself, but it was a tough call.)

    I hardly ever read Gail Collins, as she seems to me to be 99% snark and 1% substance, but her column today is that one in a hundred:

    The idea that women are going to race off to vote for any candidate with the same internal plumbing is both offensive and historically wrong….

    Over the last week, we have heard over and over and over that Tuesday was the anniversary of the day women got the right to vote…. After that big moment of enfranchisement, women went through a long period in the desert where they had the vote but not much else. Then came the great revolutions of the 1970s….
    [W]omen could be excited and moved by symbolic candidacies that promised a better, more inclusive future, like Shirley Chisholm’s presidential race and Geraldine Ferraro’s presence on the Democratic national ticket.

    This year, Hillary Clinton took things to a whole new level. She didn’t run for president as a symbol but as the best-prepared candidate in the Democratic pack. Whether you liked her or not, she convinced the nation that women could be qualified to both run the country and be commander in chief. That was an enormous breakthrough, and Palin’s nomination feels, in comparison, like a step back.

    (emphasis mine)

  21. 21
    Jeff Fecke says:

    Exactly. I was an Obama supporter throughout the primary season, but I liked Hillary Clinton, thought she was clearly competent and experienced, and I would have been proud to pull the lever for her this fall had she won the nomination. She didn’t almost win the nomination because everyone thought it would be fun to have a girl on the ticket — any more than Obama won the nomination because he was black. She and Obama ran hard, smart, strong campaigns, and both have proven their mettle.

    Palin has won an election in the 47th-largest state in the union, and while she might be qualified for this position in 2012, it’s very hard to argue she is now. And so we’re left with McCain picking Palin not because she’s a strong, competent leader who happens to be a woman, but because she’s a woman, full stop.

    I get that she’s a sop to the social conservative wing of the GOP, and in that sense, she makes some sense; certainly, if I was a Huckabee voter I’d feel a bit better today. But as an appeal to independents or Clinton Dems — not going to happen, sorry. They’re not stupid, and they know a gimmick when they see it.

  22. 22
    RonF says:

    There’s an interesting comparison drawn between Palin and Obama drawn by one John Kass. Those of you outside Chicago may not know much about him. He is a columnist in the Chicago Tribune – in fact, he is the pre-eminent local columnist in that paper. He covers Chicago and Illinois politics. Given that, he came to know Sen. Obama before he announced his candidacy for the Presidency.

    The last few paragraphs of his Sunday column provide a summary of a theme you may hear in the next few weeks:

    And all weekend, analysts will define Palin by gender, guns, her opposition to abortion, her Obama-like inexperience. Since most talking heads are themselves Beltway insiders, they might miss the point as they did with Obama:

    It’s the political reform, stupid!

    The young Alaska Republican put her political career on the line by challenging the corrupt, old Alaskan Republican bulls on their sleazy pay-for-play politics and their use of the public trust to fill the pockets of their friends. She didn’t merely talk about abstract change in Washington. She challenged corruption at home, challenged her own party bosses—some of whom are already in prison—at great risk to her political future.

    It is something I’ve begged and begged Obama to do with the ham-fisted pols in Chicago and Illinois—to not merely talk about change far away, but to take a principled stand even if that stand runs counter to his political interests at home; to challenge the thugs of his own party, to give us a reason to believe he’s the man he says he is. He has politely declined.

    In this, Obama obviously has more experience than Palin.

    Sen. Obama spent 8 years in the Illinois Senate. For those of you who are not from Illinois, corruption in the Illinois General Assembly is kind of like shit in a barnyard; it’s pervasive, but the local residents live with the sight and smell so much that they barely react to it anymore. He didn’t make any revolutionary changes there. Why should we expect him to do it in Washington?

  23. 23
    Ampersand says:

    I think anyone expecting “revolutionary changes” from either Obama or McCain is very foolish.

    There are a number of reasons I think Obama would be a much better president than McCain, but “revolutionary change” isn’t one of them.

  24. 24
    Jake Squid says:

    The young Alaska Republican put her political career on the line by challenging the corrupt, old Alaskan Republican bulls on their sleazy pay-for-play politics and their use of the public trust to fill the pockets of their friends.

    And then, it appears, used her governmental power to go after her soon to be ex-brother-in-law. Oh, and fired at least one government employee who didn’t follow her wishes to have her brother-in-law fired. Refreshing indeed!

  25. 26
    Tom T. says:

    Re: #24. If the allegations prove true that the brother-in-law was domestically violent and threatened to kill his wife’s father, I suspect that the story won’t be damaging to Palin even if it’s shown that she pressed improperly for his firing.

    Among other things, after all, she’s being presented as a reformer who has fought against machine politics, and this incident would fit into the same narrative, with her opposing a blue wall of silence that had closed ranks around a corrupt officer who was abusing his wife.

    You can take the truth value of all that with a grain of salt if you wish, of course. I’m just saying that that will be the story presented.

  26. 27
    RonF says:

    Jake, it also appears that the Trooper she’s trying to fire has been caught driving drunk, etc., and is still on the job because the good old boy network has been covering for him.

  27. 28
    Jake Squid says:

    We’ll find out the results of the private investigation commissioned by the state in late October. Won’t that be fun?

    Also, the guy may be a violent ass (I haven’t seen too much written about him), but it’s still an abuse of governmental power to fire the state Safety Commissioner because he wouldn’t fire the guy. We have rules & regulations & a lawful bureaucracy in place. The proper thing to do would be to expose him and the system that protected him rather than fire the Safety Commissioner. I’ll also be curious to see if any info is brought to light revealing that she tried to get him off the force before the divorce began.

  28. 29
    Jake Squid says:

    From http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2008/08/palin_pick_makes_alaska_blog_m.html

    Sarah Palin’s sister Molly married a guy named Mike Wooten who is an Alaska State Trooper. Mike and Molly had a rocky marriage. When the marriage broke up, there was a bitter custody fight that is still ongoing. During the custody investigation, all sorts of things were brought up about Wooten including the fact that he had illegally shot a moose (yes folks this is Alaska), driven drunk, and used a taser (on the test setting, he reminds us) on his 11-year old stepson, who supposedly had asked to see what it felt like. While Wooten has turned out to be a less than stellar figure, the fact that Palin’s father accompanied him on the infamous moose hunt, and that many of the dozens of charges brought up by the Palin family happened long before they were ever reported smacked of desperate custody fight. Wooten’s story is that he was basically stalked by the family.

    After all this, Wooten was investigated and disciplined on two counts and allowed to kept his position with the troopers. Enter Walt Monegan, Palin’s appointed new chief of the Department of Public Safety and head of the troopers. Monegan was beloved by the troopers, did a bang-up job with minimal funding and suddenly got axed. Palin was out of town and Monegan got “offered another job” (aka fired) with no explanation to Alaskans. Pressure was put on the governor to give details, because rumors started to swirl around the fact that the highly respected Monegan was fired because he refused to fire the aforementioned Mike Wooten. Palin vehemently denied ever talking to Monegan or pressuring Monegan in any way to fire Wooten, or that anyone on her staff did. Over the weeks it has come out that not only was pressure applied, there were literally dozens of conversations in which pressure was applied to fire him. Monegan has testified to this fact, spurring an ongoing investigation by the Alaska state legislature. But, before this investigation got underway, Palin sent the Alaska State Attorney General out to do some investigative work of his own so she could find out in advance what the real investigation was going to find. (No, I’m not making this up).

    Interesting stuff. I’ll go and read more about it today.

  29. 30
    Jake Squid says:

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gWi6yTVfPyJeiTBsQ33SSUiobt8wD92I9NIO0
    Attorney General Talis Colberg’s conducted an investigation and found that 14 members of the Palin administration — including Colberg himself — made calls to Department of Public Safety officials about Wooten.

    http://www.adn.com/politics/story/476430.html
    When the investigation appeared to stall, Palin — more than a year before she was elected governor, and about two months before launching her campaign — pushed trooper commanders to take action against Wooten. At one point, Palin and her husband, Todd, hired a private investigator….

    … It’s nearly impossible to know whether other complaints have come in about Wooten in the last two years. His personnel file is confidential. But the fact he remains on the force is an indication that he hasn’t had the sort of trouble that Grimes warned against.

    http://www.aksuperstation.com/news/local/26967749.html
    An audio recording released by Gov. Sarah Palin on Wednesday implicates an aide pressuring the Public Safety Department to fire a state trooper embroiled in a custody battle with her sister. Previously the administration maintained that no pressure was exerted to get rid of trooper Mike Wooten.

    What I’ve found so far indicates that Wooten was no choirboy. OTOH, he doesn’t seem to be worse than many Portland Police Officers. It also indicates that Palin has been after the Public Safety Department to get rid of him for nearly three years. The most worrisome aspect, certainly from the McCain Campaign’s perspective, is her denial of any pressure put on Monegan by her or her office followed by admitting to pressuring Monegan when she discovered (by investigating the investigation?) that there was proof that her administration had pressured Monegan. While that fits right in with Bush Administration strategy, is that really how the McCain campaign wants to be seen?

    Cue Benny Hill Music.