In his new book, The Restless Wave, and in an upcoming HBO documentary, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) expresses regret about choosing former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate in the 2008 election. According to The New York Times, in the documentary, McCain refers to the Palin selection as “another mistake” he made in a long political career.
In his new book, McCain reportedly claims that former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, a Democrat, would have been a better choice for the ticket. McCain noted that his advisers convinced him not to choose the Democrat, so he picked the relatively unknown Alaska Governor.
The “maverick” McCain has made a career out of trashing Republicans and “reaching across the aisle” to his friends in the Democratic Party. Of course, he would have preferred Lieberman, who is liberal on fiscal and social issues. A McCain-Lieberman ticket would have been a disaster and lost in a landslide. The only thing that prevented McCain from losing to Barack Obama in a total blowout was Sarah Palin.
While the 2008 was not a rout, Obama handily won both the popular vote and the Electoral College. On the campaign trail, McCain failed to connect with the American people and was nowhere near as smooth or polished as Obama. In the debates, McCain performed badly and was easily dispatched by his opponent, a better politician and presidential candidate.
Instead of being a mistake, selecting Sarah Palin was the best thing to happen to the 2008 McCain campaign. At the GOP convention, she gave a fiery speech that energized the delegates. In her only vice presidential debate against Joe Biden, Palin perform admirably.