...it's McCain part to make inroads among soft Republicans and those Hillary supporters -- male or female -- that can be gotten by somebody who's a gun-toting, hockey-playing woman."" -- Karl Rove on Palin's nomination
Karl Rove's fingerprints were all over this nomination from the start. First, he publicly let it be known that he called Lieberman and asked him to drop out of consideration for VP. That was pretty much a call to arms for the wingnut base, and told McCain that there was going to be a war if he nominated Lieberman, and McCain, who had all but decided on Lieberman, obediently backed down. Then there's the naked, poll driven cynicism of it. Palin has absolutely no qualifications for the job, but she was worth, according to Rove, "2-3 percentage points" in the polls, and that was enough. That she has also been a narrowly thought-out disaster is another Rove hallmark. I can see him writing a memo to Bush in 2002, saying something like, "A war against Iraq would be worth, at a minimum, 5 - 7% at the polls in 2004, having broad appeal among security-minded Democrats, anti-Muslim religious conservatives, and that segment of the electorate that likes the idea of living in a country not afraid to seek revenge for 9/11." Of course, Bush should have won in a near-landslide in 2004, according to most models I've seen, by about 9%. Instead, guided by Rove, he won by three. I've seen rumors that Rove was pushing hard for Romney, but I'm really starting to think they are false or disinformation, or at best, he presented, via his friends working for McCain, a list of candidates he thought would make the most impact, and Palin was either first or second. She's the perfect Rove pick: unqualified, but demographically sound (kind of like Bush), with lots of gimmicky bells and whistles ("A gun toting, hockey playing mother of five nicknamed 'The Barracuda!' What's not to like?") attached. There is no more overrated, partisan, and amoral figure in the world of politics today than Karl Rove, and there is no figure who is more revered by the Washington establishment.