Known for speaking his mind, former Vice President Dick Cheney roiled the Republican establishment once again by admitting that John McCain made a mistake in picking Sarah Palin as his running mate in the 2008 election.
To the rest of the country, which watched Palin stumble and bumble her way through the summer and fall on the way to losing the election to Barack Obama and Joe Biden, Cheney’s admission won’t be filed under “surprise.”
But in D.C., where party loyalty is as important as breathing, many eyebrows likely will be raised when people read a story that features one prominent Republican throwing another one under the bus. Vice presidential candidates are foremost in everyone’s mind in Washington because the town and much of the country is waiting anxiously to see who Romney will pick. While McCain had the reputation of a maverick and every once in a while felt like he needed to do something to earn the nickname, no one expects any surprises from Romney.
While he said he liked Palin, Cheney said Palin wasn’t ready to be president and the McCain campaign didn’t do a very good job of vetting her to see if she was up to it. He made his statements during an interview with ABC News (see below).
Shockwaves coursed through the electorate and the political establishment in Washington when McCain told the world he had chosen an obscure governor from Alaska with just a few years of on-the-job experience. But the shock only grew more intense when the public began to get to know her and realized Palin was thoroughly unfamiliar with the issues. But in a bizarre public transformation, Palin soon became a right-wing darling and the champion of the newly formed Tea Party. She left politics to become a commentator on Fox News—but it is really Palin’s daughter, Bristol, who has been benefited the most from mom’s fame, becoming a star on reality television shows like Dance with the Stars and her own show, Life’s a Tripp.
Cheney, whose own deep unpopularity was a weight around the neck of the Bush administration, says there are two lists that candidates maintain. The bigger list includes politicians who want to be viewed as under consideration to boost their standing. Cheney says a second, much shorter list contains those who are actually being considered.