I saw the Republican Party today, standing in line to see Palin at Shippensburg University. ~Robert Stacy McCain
At the rate the McCain campaign is going, pretty soon I wouldn’t be surprised if you could fit the entire party into a single auditorium for one of her rallies.
Let the cynics attend a Palin event and try to imagine those crowds turning out for, inter alia, Tim Pawlenty.
Of course, no one in the general public knows who Tim Pawlenty is today anymore than they knew who Palin was two months ago, and when they were told how wonderful and fantastic Palin was they responded by concluding that she was wonderful and fantastic. They would have done much the same for Pawlenty. I’d be willing to bet that they would have responded to Pawlenty’s working-class evangelical reformer shtick with more or less the same enthusiasm that they greeted Palin’s, because it is has ultimately never been about the VP candidate as such and has been entirely about McCain choosing someone who validated rank-and-file conservative views and lifestyle. The difference would have been that he might have deserved some of the praise that has been heaped on her, and he would have been able to hold his own in articulating the reasons why the campaign’s policies are worth supporting. More to the point, if the same crowds had not turned out for Pawlenty, a perfectly credible alternative with a better record and qualifications, it would show how much the Palin enthusiasm is driven entirely by sentiment and irrational identitarianism.
P.S. McCain was right about this much when he said, “if Sarah Palin is enough to make you decide you’re not a Republican, you’re not a Republican.” Indeed, I am not, never have been and, if Palin is the future of the GOP, I never will be.