Republicans around the country are in a panic about the pick of Alaska governor Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate.
According to sources in the McCain campaign, asking not to be named, John McCain strongly wanted Senator Joseph Leiberman on his ticket as Vice Presidential candidate. Karl Rove and others of influence were adamant against the liberal/independent Leiberman, and McCain responded "in a fit of his own independence" by inviting Palin to Arizona for a quick interview and offer.
Those opposed to Palin, the large majority of influence, went with the presumptive presidential nominee when they all agreed that at the least she would "solidify the religious right base" and help distract the press the day after the end of the Democratic National Convention.
The Republican Party's well oiled machine kicked into gear, supplying talking points and brief Palin histories to sympathetic talking heads, message statements to the host of spurned VP possibles, and drafting quotes to supply to specially selected Republican women to project the image that the party was now united and that Palin was a brilliant pick.
Instead, revelations of Palin's original support for the "Bridge to Nowhere," securing of $27M of US taxpayer funds for her town of Wassila, investigations into her pressure to have her estranged ex-brother-in-law fired from the Alaska State Plice, her membership in the anti-American AIP, her hateful preacher who stated that "If you don't vote for George Bush, you will have a hard time getting into heaven," and family issues such as her 17-year-old unwed-daughter's pregnancy have thrown the Republican base into panic.
Fundrasing has bumped for the McCain campaign since the Palin announcement, but polling shows Barack Obama 8 points higher than McCain than he was before the Palin announcement.
Her speech tonight is expected to be a make-or-break moment for Palin. She is at this moment locked in a room with veteran RNC speechwriters
“I'm not sure what she brings to the ticket other than she's a woman and a conservative.”-Faye Palin, Sarah's mother-in-law
"I was committed to voting for McCain, but the whole Sarah thing has made me consider voting for Obama. She seems to have been checked out by the Republicans too little, and my feeling is that she is not ready to be president" Amanda Muller, registered Nebraska Republican.
The unnamed McCain campaign source said "We have sent a task force to Alaska for damage control, and we agree with odds-makers that she has a 50-50 chance of being dumped before November. Some October surprise, huh."