MSM Attacks: Punishment for Not Dropping a 'Trial Balloon'?

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Sep 04, 2008 6:20 PM
On June 21 of this year, I offered some unsolicited "Veep advice to McCain."  Here's an excerpt:
1.  Make Obama pick first.  The Democratic convention (August 25-28) is before the GOP convention (September 1-4), so why not make Obama go first?  Surely, Obama's pick could impact your decision, after all.  For example, if Obama does not pick a lady, you might decide to do so.  This would potentially help undermine Obama's "change" rationale.  On the other hand, if Obama does pick a woman, your team might seek to capitalize on the idea that this would be "too much change" at once ...

They did it -- and it has obviously worked!  (Note:  I don't think he technically took my advice, I just think his advisers -- or, more likely, McCain himself -- happened to see things my way ...). 

However, the McCain team did not follow this second piece of advice from my post:

2.  Float the trial balloon.  Whatever you do, don't "surprise" us with a running mate pick.  That's how we got Dan Quayle, for crying out loud.  (And I would argue that Quayle might well have still been picked had the media been given a "heads-up" that he was being considered.)  Leak the idea to the press first, and see how it flies.  Heck, why not tell me, first???

Now, I AM NOT comparing Palin to Quayle.  Clearly, she demonstrated last night that she is a vastly superior politician.  What I am saying, though, is that the establishment media is full of people who think very highly of themselves, and as such, resent being kept out of the loop.  Furthermore, they resent the fact that McCain had the audacity to pick an outsider whom they've never mingled with at a Georgetown cocktail party.  (Granted,  it is a ridiculous notion that McCain should have to run it by them -- but that's how the game works.)

Above, you will note that I said McCain should not "surprise" us.  I was wrong about that; the surprise obviously worked.  However, the McCain campaign could have dropped a trial balloon without ruining the surprise. My guess is that the attacks on Palin would be less intense if McCain's team had paid homage to the media ...