Where Did You Go, Joe?
I was nearly right. I posted a kinda sarcastic readers blog at TPM explaining why McCain chose Palin:
The GOP only chose McCain as their presidential candidate because all the other choices were even worse. And that's exactly why McCain chose Palin.Well, now the NYT has come out with the true story. And I wasn't too far off:
It was supposed to be Lieberman, actually - that was the plan. But at the last minute, Joe told John that he had something big to confess. He said that if this big secret ever got out, it would be a huge scandal that would sink the GOP ticket for good.
McCain was shocked - shocked! - to hear Lieberman admit this sordid truth: he is an AIPAC stooge and has been putting Israel's interests ahead of the USA's for many years.
Shh - don't tell anybody.
Up until midweek last week, some 48 to 72 hours before Mr. McCain introduced Ms. Palin at a Friday rally in Dayton, Ohio, Mr. McCain was still holding out the hope that he could choose a good friend, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, a Republican close to the campaign said. Mr. McCain had also been interested in another favorite, former Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania.
But both men favor abortion rights, anathema to the Christian conservatives who make up a crucial base of the Republican Party. As word leaked out that Mr. McCain was seriously considering the men, the campaign was bombarded by outrage from influential conservatives who predicted an explosive floor fight at the convention and vowed rejection of Mr. Ridge or Mr. Lieberman by the delegates.
Perhaps more important, several Republicans said, Mr. McCain was getting advice that if he did not do something to shake up the race, his campaign would be stuck on a potentially losing trajectory.
With time running out — and as Mr. McCain discarded two safer choices, Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, as too predictable — he turned to Ms. Palin. He had his first face-to-face interview with her on Thursday and offered her the job moments later. Advisers to Mr. Pawlenty and another of the finalists on Mr. McCain’s list described an intensive vetting process for those candidates that lasted one to two months.
“They didn’t seriously consider her until four or five days from the time she was picked, before she was asked, maybe the Thursday or Friday before,” said a Republican close to the campaign. “This was really kind of rushed at the end, because John didn’t get what he wanted. He wanted to do Joe or Ridge.”