Commentary Magazine


Flotsam and Jetsam

Sarah Palin – looser and more candid — seems well aware that her immediate task is governing and governing well.

And the interview with Greta? I think we’ve all heard enough about her clothes to last a lifetime. She seems to have figured out that the key to her future rests with appearing less confrontational (lots of talk about Democrats in her administration and not yelling at political opponents).

And on the ongoing sniping, Bill McGurn writes: “We are asked to believe that Mrs. Palin was not ready for a national campaign. On what evidence from any part of this election are we to conclude that anyone on the McCain campaign team was ready for a national campaign?” Ouch.

Now that our suspicions about which polls are routinely and wildly inaccurate have been confirmed, shouldn’t future reporting acknowledge that? (“The Newsweek poll, which has historically be the most inaccurate of all major polls, today showed. . . “) It is simply misleading voters to offer all polling material as equally reliable.

I can’t think of a worse move for the Democrats than bringing in Clinton confidante Terry McAuliffe to run for Virginia Governor next year. The Democrats who have been successful have been non-partisan, homegrown types (e.g. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner). The Republicans will be grinning ear-to-ear if McAuliffe jumps in, makes for a fight among Democrats, and then can be painted as a Washington insider — from the deep, dark Clinton past, no less.

Howard Dean’s disappearance from the national scene will do much, I suspect, to change the tone and lower the level of vitriol.

Apparently decisiveness and speed will not be the new Administration’s strong suit.

Bobby Jindal and his staff pass the first test for presidential timbre: they aren’t dummies. “While the official reason that Jindal took his name out of contention was his lack of a desire to leave the Louisiana governorship, there was also real trepidation within his political inner circle that Jindal might wind up as the pick — McCain was attracted to his comprehensive health-care knowledge — and be caught up in what they believed to be a less-than-stellar campaign that could pin a loss on Jindal without much ability to change or control the direction of the contest.”

Pundit, heal thyself. Was there anyone more gushy about Obama than Mark (“Land of Lincolner”) Halperin? Well, anyone who didn’t work for MSNBC, I mean.

Mark Salter’s defense of John McCain inadvertently reveals the weaknesses of the campaign — too much personality, too much biographical obsession, and not enough ideas.

Rudy Giuliani for Governor? Seems hard to believe he would be interested, Still, that’s the office where Republicans have had the most success and made the most impact of late.

Talk about failing upward! What’s next? Mark Penn as head of the DNC?