The Trail

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Noonan, Ex-McCain Aide Heard Blasting Palin Pick

Prominent conservative columnist Peggy Noonan and former John McCain campaign manager Michael Murphy made disparaging comments Wednesday about the Republican's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate, after a segment that aired on NBC with Chuck Todd. Thinking that the microphone had been turned off -- or, perhaps, that the video signal had stopped transmitting -- Noonan and Murphy ripped into Palin as someone who would weigh down the GOP ticket.

"It's over," said Noonan.

In an addendum to her online column in the Wall Street Journal, Noonan wrote later Wednesday that part of her conversation was not on the audio. She said what she meant by it being "over" was not the race, but rather the perception by the Republican Party that its base is in tune with the American people.

Asked if Palin is the most qualified Republican woman to be McCain's running mate, Noonan replied: "The most qualified? No. I think they went for this, excuse me, political bullshit about narratives and [inaudible] the picture."

Later, she continued: "Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, and they blow it."

Added Murphy: "You know what's really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism, and this is cynical."

In her Wall Street Journal column Wednesday, Noonan was more circumspect in writing about Palin. In her online addition, she also apologized for what she called her "barnyard epithet."

"The Sarah Palin choice is really going to work, or really not going to work," she wrote. "It's not going to be a little successful or a little not; it's not going to be a wash. She is either going to be magic or one of history's accidents. She is either going to be brilliant and groundbreaking, or will soon be the target of unattributed quotes by bitter staffers shifting blame in all the Making of the President 2008 books. Of which there should be plenty, as we've never had a year like this, with the fabulous freak of a campaign."

-- Jose Antonio Vargas


GOP Women Rally Behind No. 2 Pick

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Female Republicans embraced identity politics with gusto Wednesday, touting the virtues of vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and suggesting that any attempts to question her qualifications amount to blatant sexism.

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