“The greatness about McCain is no cynicism. And this was cynical…”

Who said it? Mike Murphy. And Murphy was until very very recently an ‘outside advisor to John McCain. Peggy Noonan, doyen of the thinking conservatives also agrees. The TPM transcript is below the fold:

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.

(cut away)

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 bullshit 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.

MM: Yeah.


  • Dewi


  • mac

    McCain lacking in cynicism? Well he certainly has run a good act. It’s surprising how many people buy into the maverick image.

    McCain is and always has been as cynical as the best of them.

  • Pete Baker


    I think Tim Shipman hit the nail on the head – including the Peggy Noonan point.

    Peggy Noonan has a typically astute piece here about what it’s like living in the political bubble.

    My personal view is that the initial feeding frenzy owed as much to the irritation among the media nabobs that they had missed the story as it did to their alleged political bias.

    They hadn’t dug into Mrs Palin’s background, they hadn’t prepared their biog pieces. In short, Mrs Palin was not on their radar, ergo she was a bad pick.

    And what did Peggy Noonan have to say about Sarah Palin?

    Gut: The Sarah Palin choice is really going to work, or really not going to work. It’s not going to be a little successful or a little not; it’s not going to be a wash. She is either going to be magic or one of history’s accidents. She is either going to be brilliant and groundbreaking, or will soon be the target of unattributed quotes by bitter staffers shifting blame in all the Making of the President 2008 books. Of which there should be plenty, as we’ve never had a year like this, with the fabulous freak of a campaign.

    More immediately and seriously on Palin:

    Because she jumbles up so many cultural categories, because she is a feminist not in the Yale Gender Studies sense but the How Do I Reload This Thang way, because she is a woman who in style, history, moxie and femininity is exactly like a normal American feminist and not an Abstract Theory feminist; because she wears makeup and heels and eats mooseburgers and is Alaska Tough, as Time magazine put it; because she is conservative, and pro-2nd Amendment and pro-life; and because conservatives can smell this sort of thing — who is really one of them and who is not — and will fight to the death for one of their beleaguered own; because of all of this she is a real and present danger to the American left, and to the Obama candidacy.

    She could become a transformative political presence.

    So they are going to have to kill her, and kill her quick.

    And it’s going to be brutal. It’s already getting there.

    There are only two questions.

    1. Can she take it?

    Will she be rattled? Can she sail through high seas? Can she roll with most punches and deliver some jabs herself?

    2. And while she’s taking it, rolling with it and sailing through, can she put herself forward convincingly as serious enough, grounded enough, weighty enough that the American people can imagine her as vice president of the United States?

    I suppose every candidate for vice president faces these questions to some degree, but because Palin is new, unknown, and a woman, it’s all much more so.

  • latcheeco

    “Doyen of thinking conservatives” over-exaggerated
    on both counts Mick.

  • mac

    “…because she is a woman who in style, history, moxie and femininity is exactly like a normal American feminist.”

    I’m not sure what constitutes a “normal American feminist” – but Palin isn’t it – unless you’re talking about some Annie Oakley type.

    Palin acts out the boy’s game – shills for oil and gas, big game hunter etc and gets kudos for wearing the pants … “oooh ain’t she cute.” There’s nothing liberated about this or the ideological positions she takes, nor is there anything liberated about her oddball creationism. Opposing abortion even in the case of rape and incest is not normally a belief associated with any woman who calls herself a feminist.

    Palin is savvy enough to frame her language in a manner that has a certain media appeal – she knows how to dress the part for glossy mag shoots. Confusing any of this with feminism of a real rather than derivative sort, is pushing the envelope – to say the least.

  • Dave

    I think she’ll appeal to ‘real’ Americans as opposed to the algorithm-generated fictions that pundits imagine populate America. She doesn’t fit neatly into any of the categories, and so she has the neurotics on edge, fearing that nonlinearity has entered the equation. My money is on this team.

  • BfB

    “normal American feminist”= Only five abortions away from the presidency.

    Ain’t Ann Coulter great?

  • USA

    I see your contributions are as obnoxious as ever.

    I will have to reserve judgement on how Palin will play out for McCain at the moment. He took a hit with the storm in New Orleans which reduced his convention buzz in the media.

    I do know that McCain wanted Lieberman as his VP nomination but he was talked out of it at the last moment. This did not give the Repulicans much time to come up with another candidate, which makes me think that the Palin pick was a little rushed.
    As always time will tell.
    The numbers registering as democrats during the Democratic primaries cannot bode well for McCain.
    Having said that I live in the North Eastern corner of the US which is Democrat, what they think in other parts of this vast country is way beyond my control.

  • Dewi

    Pete – I’m sorry but do you think the President of the USA should be clever and experienced? Or are those discriminatory criteria?

  • Harry Flashman

    Just finished watching her speech, she knocked it out of the ball park. Even if McCain doesn’t win this time I think we can be fairly certain who’ll be the Republican candidate in 2012.

    The new Ronald Reagan and for the people here who think that’s an insult, trust me it isn’t. The sneering petty, bitching, sleazy reaction to her candidacy and her superb aplomb in the face of it will have won over millions of independents, the sort of people that you need if you want to win elections, you know like working mothers, blue collar men, people who actually count as opposed to wittering twits in TV studios.

    I actually hope the Obama campaign keep up their disgusting Chicago mob style smearing of Palin, it’s backfiring superbly.

  • kensei


    It is too easy, too tired and cheap to simply suggest that this is simply a media backlash against not being consulted. It is a fair question to ask if she’s qualified to be in the VP slot, and a fair question to ask if she’s qualified to be int he big chair, given that McCain is 72. Very few Americans are going to know much about her, and had the Democrats went for a left field pick they’d have got exactly the same treatment. It is hardly the fault of the media that there is a load of low hanging fruit regarding Palin.

    Noonan seems closer to the mark. But she slips into hyperbole: “a transformative political presence” is a hard one to push at this point. And “conservatives can smell this sort of thing—who is really one of them and who is not” — that’d be them conservatives that propelled Bush into office,a nd have now spent the last 2 years saying he’s not a Conservative.

  • Jean Baudrillard

    Hang on.

    This woman who could so easily become president. (After all she will be only one dodgy ticker away from it if McCain wins).

    And what then? Someone with even less experience than Bush of other cultures attempting to untangle the mess in the middle east and the rise of China; trying to sort out a totally messed up global economy; and dealing with the challenge of peak oil and climate change.

    This is a woman who has included a refuelling stopover at Shannon airport as one of her visits to three foreign countries – the others being a stopover visit to the National Guard in Germany and a trip to Kuwait.

    She is a joke (and no doubt with become VP).

    God help us all.

  • Just finished watching her speech, she knocked it out of the ball park. Even if McCain doesn’t win this time I think we can be fairly certain who’ll be the Republican candidate in 2012.

    The most sensible thing you’ve said on this site for months, Harry. No question it was an excellent speech, under pressure, and it will stop many of the questions about her basic competence (but not all of them). It’s still advantage Obama in the Presidential race, but she may well end up, if she loses the Vice Presidency, effectively using that to do what Reagan used his unsuccessful challenge to Ford in ’76 for.

    She clearly has a populist, genuinely working-class, streak, but she still has to overcome the issues question – unlike Reagan, she is well to the right of Joe McAverage on policy.

  • Harry Flashman

    Reagan in ’76, exactly what I was thinking Sammy (careful we can’t agree too often, it’ll spoil the fun). I actually only came across a video of that on You Tube a week or so back and I posted it here in relation to Hillary and the Dem’s convention but it applies in spades here.

    Now if Carter, sorry Obama, does win and the US slips into a recession, loses face against militant Islam, sees another oil crisis with a dithering inexperienced one term Democrat president with a nice smile and little else, then it’ll be glad confident morning in America again in 2012.

    I’m almost looking forward to it.

  • Greenflag

    Excellent speech apart from not mentioning the economy , health care , mortgage foreclosures and all of the other issues which are impacting many Americans in their daily lives.

    As for her ‘agin ‘ asking for funds from the Federal Government and her anti big Government hype . When the curtains are rolled back the 230 million that was earmarked for the ‘bridge ‘ to nowwhere was quickly ‘earmarked ‘ for other Alaskan ‘projects’ . Alaska has the highest take on federal spending ‘projects ‘ of all the USA states where the overall US wide average is 50 dollars per person . Alaska’s Governor has achieved for Alaska the dubious distinction of netting 500 dollars per person for Alaska or 10 times the national average .

    It’ll be the economy – 1992 come again except more so because of the war in Iraq .

    Harry Flashman ,

    So we’re giving up on 2008 and it’s now 2012 ?

    Thought you would.

    America is moving ‘left’ or to be more accurate back to the sensible centre . Playing politics on the extreme right wing with born again and the tongue babblers has led the USA down the wrong road economically and politically for the past 8 years and lets not forget the hundreds of thousands of lives lost as a result of this Republican fiasco of an administration 🙁

  • USA

    Yes, she certainly made a good fist of it last night.

  • Now if Carter, sorry Obama, does win and the US slips into a recession, loses face against militant Islam, sees another oil crisis with a dithering inexperienced one term Democrat president with a nice smile and little else, then it’ll be glad confident morning in America again in 2012.

    Waving the white flag already? I’m disappointed.

    History rarely repeats itself so accurately and Obama is a more substantial figure than Carter.

  • Kay Bailey Hutchison:

    combined ticket age: 137 – strike one (McCain-Palin: 116)
    abortion attitude: generally pro-choice – strike two
    likely electorate wish to for a Texan in the white house any time soon: zero – strike three

  • Carter: (from wiki)

    Graduate, US Naval Academy (59rd/820) – only President to come out of Annapolis. Ended his career as Lt. on submarines (hard yards in those days) to take over family business (peanut farmer)

    Georgia State Senate 62-66. (two terms)
    Lost Dem Primary for Governor 1966
    Governor of Georgia 1971-75 (consecutive term limit)
    “declared in his inaugural speech that the time of racial segregation was over, and that racial discrimination had no place in the future of the state”

    Chairman of DNC Congress/Governor campaigns, 1974.

    yeah – back on September 4 1976 that guy was totally without substance compared to Obama.

  • Steve

    Harry Flashman
    Now if Carter, sorry Obama, does win and the US slips into a recession, loses face against militant Islam, sees another oil crisis

    they havent recovered from Bush yet so how can there be “another”?

    She’s a loon and soon we will see she has more skeletons in more clossets then Harvard Medical School

  • Stupid Cow

    Love the cute little Israel flag in her office.

    Never been there mind you.

  • BfB

    America is moving ‘left’ or to be more accurate back to the sensible centre .

    Two words
    Rod Serling

  • BfB

    I’m not totally gaga over SP mind you, but. It is mahvelous to see all the baby killers and jihad apologists biting their tongues, and slapping their hands on the mouths of their ‘core’ rabid, vulgar, effin’ crazy subjects. She’s what the socialist Obamcreeps don’t want the rest of the world to see. It craps up their ‘bad America’ mantra. I’m still pissed that these two bit (25 cent)liberal assholes changed rotaries to ’roundabouts’…yeesh. Pay attention you yurpeen weenies (usa included) she is much like the silent majority who is paying attention big time now. The whining bitches, known as liberal feminist, are considering turning homosexual to continue their ride on the ‘equal pay or I’ll effin’ sue you’ gravy train. Their bullshit won’t be feeding the bulldog anymore, there’s a reeeeeel woman on the scene now…… I will miss Mitt though.
    Stupid Cow, yes, you are (apologies to cows).

  • Greenflag


    ‘Love the cute little Israel flag in her office’

    It’s her country too as well as Joe Liebermann’s ;). It’s the 52nd State After all this is where the kibbutz Megiddo is located in the Jezreel valley- the pre planned (as in Revelations) site for the next foray into foreign policy by America’s neo con nutters -Armageddon 🙁

    Mrs Palin knows all about Armageddon . It’s what her Church is looking forward to ‘rapturously’ if you catch my drift .

    Israel is the 51st State and Iraq number 52 . Cheney is busy planning Iran as number 53 with Georgia , Ukraine , and any other country in the region that has oil making up the numbers to 60 .

    American Republicans don’t do oppression good . Not for them the old 800 year suffering and moaning and occassional revolution no sirree.

    One afternoon of oppression (9/11) and the Republcians blow up half the world trying hard not to find the actual perpetrators but instead use the ensuing ‘mess’ to steal other country’s natural resources (oil )

  • BfB

    to steal other country’s natural resources (oil )

    C’mon now Greenie, time to back up these ‘side of your neck’ statements with some actual (independent cites)information. Your nutter accusations and rants are wearing thin on credibility..(aka liberal politics)

  • Dewi

    “Obama is a more substantial figure than Carter.”

    Sammy? What? How? where did that come from????

  • Greenflag

    ‘with some actual information.’

    One word –


    American troops are in Iraq not vice versa .

  • Greenflag

    Bfb ,

    Are you sure you’re not an Israeli ? Next you’ll be advising Palestinians to go back to some place they don’t come from .

    Did you enjoy Mr McCain’s obituarial speech and his self written bio . I was truly impressed by his numerous references to the real problems which are now being faced by millions of Americans .

    And all on the day when Republican lobbyist buddy Jack Abrahamoff gets sent down for 4 years for yes fraud and corruption 🙁

    But McCain got one thing right – change is coming to Washington except it won’t be initiated by the ‘Maverick Two ‘

    Too late for that now . 8 years too late !

  • BfB


    I’m surprised your meltdown is manifesting so quickly.
    Please present evidence to support your statement
    ‘to steal other country’s natural resources (oil )’
    or continue to be regarded as a tinfoil hatted, nutroot, anti-American, ranter and raver.

  • kensei

    Obama is a more substantial figure than Carter.

    Actually Carter gets an unfair rap in many ways. He did get the Camp David accords. The 1979 energy crisis was easily capable of destroying better men, and in suggesting the US needed energy independence was far sighted, though the hair shirt routine is definitely not the way to go about it. He did also appoint Volker to get serious about inflation, and had he done it earlier he might have got through the seriously bad times and got reelected. 1980 election was fairly close until the end.

    He made a lot of screw ups too, obviously, but by no means the worst President EVAH like he’s normally portrayed.

  • BfB

    the worst President EVAH..
    After he left office.

  • Greenflag

    Brainless from Boston a/k.a Bfb ,

    AMERICA’s elder statesman of finance, Alan Greenspan, has shaken the White House by declaring that the prime motive for the war in Iraq was oil.

    In his long-awaited memoir, to be published tomorrow, Greenspan, a Republican whose 18-year tenure as head of the US Federal Reserve was widely admired, will also deliver a stinging critique of President George W Bush’s economic policies.

    However, it is his view on the motive for the 2003 Iraq invasion that is likely to provoke the most controversy. “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil,” he says.

    Bush said the aim was to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and end Saddam’s support for terrorism.

    There you have it Bfb – Not just a thief but a liar as well -as Mr Greenspan points out

  • BfB

    Stop being a Public Nuisance and become a
    Public Allie!
    This sweet socialist poison is right up your ‘allie’ ;-(

    Public Allies brags that more than 80% of graduates have continued working in nonprofit or government jobs. It’s training the “next generation of nonprofit leaders” — future “social entrepreneurs.”

    The Obamas discourage work in the private sector. “Don’t go into corporate America,” Michelle has exhorted youth. “Work for the community. Be social workers.” Shun the “money culture,” Barack added. “Individual salvation depends on collective salvation.”

    “If you commit to serving your community,” he pledged in his Denver acceptance speech, “we will make sure you can afford a college education.” So, go through government to go to college, and then go back into government.