If you want to save any of the sidebar postings of John McCain, Sarah Palin, or any of the links for the political sites.... including Dave Leip....then make note of them while you can. They will all be removed within a couple of days.
We did over 50 Sarah Palin posts, and dozens more that were Palin related. McCain should pay Bloggers and Journalists for the free vetting service that he got (*evil grin*). In a roundabout way... he asked for it (by not doing it himself), and he got what he asked for. Now he has to live with the result. In the end though, Palin and McCain did themselves in. Bloggers and Journalists by themselves don't have quite that much influence...I know bloggers don't. But by hiding Palin from the media, the McCain campaign allowed speculation to run wild (much of it true), and allowed the Press and the blogosphere to take command of Palin's image. Once they relinquished this control & responsibility, and once it was clear that their VP choice had not been vetted, the McCain campaign was never able to regain control of the situation, despite their sad & clumsy efforts at the end, stumbling to shape or reshape her image. Sorry.... it was too little, too late. In fact, the situation turned into quicksand for them at that point.... the more they panicked and tried to react... the worst it got for Palin...and by extension, the worst it got for McCain. In the end, the entire fiasco played a key role in dragging down the McCain campaign, although the Financial crisis would have decided the election anyway. However, I can't help but think -and I thought this the whole time- how much more competitive McCain might have been if he would have made a more sensible choice for his running mate. Even if he wanted to choose a woman, there were much better options than Palin. McCain/Lieberman, McCain/Hagel, McCain/Romney, McCain/Snowe, McCain/K. B. Hutchinson, or McCain and any moderate might have played out better.... or if he wanted to satisfy the Conservative base, McCain/Huckabee made a Hell of a lot more sense.
Now Conservatives are saying that Palin represents the future for the Republican Party? They really are lost in the wilderness. Although I still believe that the U.S. electorate is still largely Center-Right and lost, I don't think the Republicans will regain their political position with Sarah Palin.
Hopefully Palin will stay in Alaska where she belongs. I'm tired of hearing that horrible (fingernails on a chalkboard) voice, among other annoyances.