Of course, McCain was destroyed by Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race, losing badly in the popular vote and in the Electoral College. In the debates, he performed badly and was easily dispatched by the more polished Obama.
In reality, Palin was the best thing to happen to the 2008 McCain campaign. At the GOP convention, she gave a fiery speech that was well received by delegates. In her only vice presidential debate against Joe Biden, Palin perform admirably.
On the campaign trail, Palin provided a spark, much needed energy and enthusiasm. While McCain was a poor communicator and lacked vigor, Palin was a powerful speaker who exuded vitality and dynamism.
Palin was able to rally conservatives, who were unexcited about McCain, to support the GOP ticket. It was Sarah Palin who helped create the powerful Tea Party movement that drove the Republican agenda for several years.
In contrast, McCain was very unpopular with Tea Party groups. His moderate to liberal positions on a number of issues were more in tune with Barack Obama than the Republican Party.
As a presidential candidate, he refused to attack many of Obama’s extremely liberal positions. He even scolded talk show host Bill Cunningham for mentioning Obama’s middle name of Hussein at a rally. McCain said the campaign did not want to engage in such tactics. Of course, there was nothing wrong with mentioning Obama’s middle name or blasting his horrible platform.
McCain is a patriot who loves his country. He should be commended for his public service and his bravery as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for over five years. Unfortunately, in these last few years, he has turned very negative and focused most of his attacks on the Republican Party. Instead of being grateful to the GOP for honoring him with their presidential nomination, he seems bitter that he was not elected President.
McCain lost the race because he was a horrible candidate and refused to exploit the many weaknesses of his opponent. His choice of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee, instead of being a mistake, was the best decision he made.
Palin was not well served by the Republican Party. Over the years, she said that McCain “repeatedly” apologized for how she was treated by the campaign and party officials. She called his announcement that he regretted choosing her “like a perpetual gut punch.”
Sarah Palin deserves much better. No vice presidential candidate in American history has been subjected to as much criticism and abuse. She became the target for Republican elites who hated her style and for comedians who hated her pro-life stance and even mocked her for having a Down’s syndrome child. Through it all, she handled the pressure with grace and class. Instead of regret, McCain should express nothing but gratitude that Sarah Palin accepted his offer to be his running mate.