How Sarah Palin lost John McCain the Presidency
Steve Newlin, Senior Contributing Editor

I know what you’re thinking. Sarah Palin’s vice presidential nomination rallied the Republican Party’s core Religious Right. They love her. The adore her. They pack stadiums to see her. Heck, they even want her to be the president. But there’s a simple fact in US politics: No matter how powerful the Religious Right is, it can never, in and of itself, win a presidential election.

The Religious Right could not even win the Republican Party’s primary election. If the Religious Right was as powerful as most people think it is, it would be Huckabee leading his party’s ticket, not McCain. But Huckabee did not win. McCain demolished Huckabee in the primary because McCain was able to get support from people who I’ll call fiscal Republicans, those who support free market ideas but who do not politicize their moral and religious beliefs, and from moderate Democrats. Let’s face it, Huckabee could not get moderate Democratic support on the most moderate day of his life with an electrified moderating machine.

So my point has no bearing on Palin’s popularity within the Religious Right. My point is that when McCain pandered to the Religious Right and picked Palin, he alienated those moderate Democrats and fiscal Republicans who won him the primary, and his numbers dropped accordingly. Let’s face it, if Right Wingers such as Christopher Buckley are leaving McCain, you can be certain that moderate Left Wingers have already left.

This is why one Republican pundit called Palin a “fatal cancer” to the Republican Party. Cancer is alive, but it will eventually kill its host. That’s exactly what Palin did. She rallied the Religious Right to life, but then killed McCain’s campaign.

And the ironic part is that McCain and his handlers completely forgot, or completely failed to consider, that the Religious Right would have voted against Obama regardless of who ran for the Republican Party; merely because members of the Religious Right would not want a black man as president. Does anyone really think those nutjobs who call Obama an “Arab” or “terrorist” would have voted for Obama if McCain had picked a moderate running mate? There was absolutely no reason for McCain to pander to the Religious Right, as he had a lock on them from the get-go. However, by pandering he now doesn’t have a chance in heck of winning.

  1. J says:

    # 53 brm

    “I’d bet fifty bucks, but we wouldn’t be able to collect until the next election.”

    Congratulations! You probably just committed a felony.

    Seriously though. If $50 is the level of your confidence you shouldn’t be running off at the mouth.

    Why not $50,000? Not so sure are you? If you were $50,000 would be no problem.

  2. grog says:

    #2 (how apropos)

    here’s what you sound like:

    “liberal bad. me good.”

  3. Vonchiz says:

    I think this article hit it on the head. I was largely undecided but leaning towards Obama. A good running mate would have swayed me to McCain pretty easily. Once McCain chose a running mate with all the bad qualities of both Bush and Cheney rolled into one it sealed the deal for me. I consider myself a fiscal conservative, but the infusion of the religious right into the Republican party has really left me alienated.


    I guess I’m a Democrat for the next 8 years until they F^$K it up and I’m back in the Republican camp. I plan on voting against every incumbent just on principle alone because of the pork they allowed into the rescue bill, regardless of their platform.

  4. Ivor Biggun says:

    I’m wondering why so many US Citizens are anti-freedom….

  5. Thomas says:

    > I think the No Tax Below $250K is
    > clear and unmistakeable.

    Because you are so adamant that Obama will keep his promise, if it turns out that Obama’s tax policies increase taxes for those making under $250K, would you refuse to vote for him in 2012 as many voted against Bush I’s “No new taxes”?

  6. RRD says:

    The religious right is not racist, that’s absurd. There are plenty of racists in the radical right to be sure but not enough to make any difference in the least.

    But there are also aplenty of Asians and Blacks and Latinos in the religious right. I personally know a black minister in a radical evangelist church and he sure doesn’t think race is the important factor at all. Abortion is the main issue with him and his church.

    For the record I’m an agnostic that thinks McCain will lose, at least I hope he does.

  7. Jason Miller says:

    Dewey defeats Truman.

    You might want to wait 3 more weeks.

  8. BrimstoneAshe says:

    Seems the writer of the article completely left out the disgruntled Hillary supporters who were rather vocal about NOT voting for Obama.

    I’m of the opinion that choosing Palin had nothing to do with pandering to the religious right, but everything to do with her gender and how it plays into a historic election: Woman vs Minority.

    After the announcement of Palin, there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t hear a woman on radio or TV say they were a Hillary supporter, and now they are a Palin supporters Considering the two have nothing it common, daily testimonials like that tell me McCain’s choice worked.

    Many conservatives like myself saw right through it, but were willing to give Palin a shot. Yet their constant protection of her, coupled with those horrid interviews ultimately made the true motive behind her selection all the more apparent. Joe the plumber has held more press interviews than Palin. Honestly, it’s an embarrassment and implies desperation. A desperation that the McCain ad campaign, and Palin’s personal attacks on Obama during the rallies have done well to reinforce as of late.

    As a conservative, I’m just ticked off at the McCain strategy. Obama hasn’t had to do anything other than just keep quiet and let the McCain campaign beat itself.

  9. brm says:

    #61 J:

    “If $50 is the level of your confidence you shouldn’t be running off at the mouth.”

    Well, the whole bet thing was kind of tongue-in-cheek. Obviously. I’m sorry you’re taking it so seriously and using the number I pulled out of my ass as like, an actual measure of my confidence. I better call our imaginary bookie and change my bet!

    “Why not $50,000? Not so sure are you? If you were $50,000 would be no problem.”

    Yeah, well, if YOU were so sure about it, you’d bet $100,000! I WIN!

    “running my mouth.” You’re a child. Are you going to come over here and beat me up for “running my mouth?”

  10. scadragon says:

    And I predict that on Nov 5th the headline will read:
    “How Barack Obama lost the election by not choosing Hillary”

    I predict that a heck of a lot of supposed progressive Liberal Dems will, when it’s time to throw the lever , will decide to not put their money where their mouths are, and when tested of their convictions will decide NOT to vote for an African American after all. And wait 4 years for maybe another run by H.C.

    Mccain-Palin by a landslide!

  11. James Hill says:

    Your editorial is the most ignorant thing post in the history of this blog. And that’s saying something.

    McCain can’t win without the right, because Obama’s charisma has claimed so much of the center. Period, end of conversation.

    I think the editorial thing needs to be limited to JCD. He can actually write them well. Your 70+ hits is because of the name “Palin” in the title… and nothing more.

  12. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz says:

    Ok.. I’m sick of seeing “Hocky Mom” jackets around town here!

  13. Special Ed says:

    Damn, I wanted to be her intern.

  14. Jerkweed29 says:

    Well, well well. You were absolutely right my friend. She cost him dearly just because she wanted to be a star and not let McCain do his thing. And now Obama is President. I’ll say it again. Obama is President. And there is nothing you racist, bigoted, red state, conservatives can do about it. Its already written. Obama is President. President Obama. You can cry now.

  15. G.Johnson says:

    The religious right wackos make me sick and I would never even think of supporting any candidate they get behind. Look at how lousy they are at picking their leaders….Sarah Palin. Geez, you would have been very hard put to find someone worse that her to run.

    The religious wackos ran the world once–and it was called “The Dark Ages”,so lets hope they are never in charge of any nation or nations again.

  16. Palin has brought McCain the all important “speaking in toungues vote”.

    Bla la hex morph volden nubrol!


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