Daily Archives: October 23, 2008

Gideon Rachman

For the past week or so, I’ve enjoyed depressing all my Obamamaniac friends by arguing that Obama’s lead could still be pegged back. But even I have to admit that the latest batch of polls do look very promising for him.

So if and when McCain loses, who or what will be labelled as the main culprit for his defeat? Plenty of candidates, obviously – George W. Bush, the economy, McCain’s age, the liberal media (if you happen to be a conservative.) But I’m increasingly of the opinion that it was the choice of Sarah Palin that was the real turning point.

On the day of her nomination as McCain’s running mate, I wrote that choosing her was “bold, exciting, but also stupid” since it under-cut McCain’s argument that Obama was too inexperienced for the presidency. Then I spent the next couple of weeks worrying that I had got it badly wrong – and revealed myself as yet another liberal European pundit, out-of-tune with Middle America. She certainly gave a bravura performance at the Republican convention. And there was a definite Palin bounce in the polls.