Woohoo - the truth, caught on tape. News Corp's Peggy Noonan, conservative columnist for the Wall Street Journal, and her compatriots tell the truth about the Palin pick, and what a huge, monumental mistake it was for McCain, not knowing that their mics were still open.
Chuck Todd: Mike Murphy, lots of free advice, we'll see if Steve Schmidt and the boys were watching. We'll find out on your blackberry. Tonight voters will get their chance to hear from Sarah Palin and she will get the chance to show voters she's the right woman for the job Up next, one man who's already convinced and he'll us why Gov. Jon Huntsman.
Peggy Noonan: Yeah.
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 -
PN: It's over.
MM: Still McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech to do himself some good.
CT: I also think the Palin pick is insulting to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, too.
PN: 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?
PN: The most qualified? No! I think they went for this -- excuse me- political bull**** about narratives -
CT: Yeah they went to a narrative.
MM: I totally agree.
PN: 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's really 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.
It was a big mistake, John McCain -- and it's not too late to fix it...
Update: Will it Matter?
Here at the Republican Convention in St. Paul, you can't walk from one side of the street to the other without overhearing a loyal party member robotically repeat the key talking point about Sarah Palin: that she's finally "energized" a GOP "base" that was wary, until recently, of John McCain. "It's beyond anything I've seen in politics," South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham gushed in an interview yesterday with NEWSWEEK. "Home run. Whatever intensity problem we had is now gone." I've talked to dozens of Republicans who are pumped for Palin, so there's obviously something to this. But the spin ignores a rather inconvenient truth: the pre-Palin base was already behind its nominee.
For months now, McCain has typically polled better among Republicans (about 85 percent, on average) than Obama has polled among Democrats (about 75 to 80 percent, on average). The problem is, McCain is currently trailing Obama by about six points in the national horse race. Why? Because the Democrats enjoy a six-to-10-point advantage in party identification. In other words, it doesn't really matter how excited right-wing Republicans are about Palin--there aren't enough of them out there to win on Election Day.
The "Palin effect" so far - about nil, according to this CBS poll:
Even after Sen. John McCain named her as his running mate on Friday, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin remained an unknown quantity to most Americans. Sixty-six percent had no opinion of her in a CBS News poll conducted over the weekend. In polling completed on Monday and Tuesday, sixty percent still had no opinion about her.
But of those who did have opinions, 26 percent of the most recently polled were favorable, while only 13 percent were not favorable.
More than one in four voters said that the vice presidential choices will matter this year, but few voters say that having Palin on the Republican ticket will change their vote. Just 14 percent said they are more likely to vote for McCain as a result of having Palin on the ticket, while 13 percent said they are less likely to do so. Sixty-eight percent said it won't make a difference in their vote.
There are still a lot of undecideds out there to whom this may end up mattering a little, or not at all, or a great deal.
A lot can change, beginning tonight with Palin's speech.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!