Unconventional, Indeed: John McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin.
John McCain wanted to shake things up with his unexpected nomination of an unknown “outsider,” at least when it came to the political scene in Washington—but by Tuesday, as reports about issues from Sarah Palin’s home life and professional past circulated in the media, some McCain allies (and certainly many detractors) wondered how much his unconventional move might cost his campaign.
The New York Times:
At the least, Republicans close to the campaign said it was increasingly apparent that Ms. Palin had been selected as Mr. McCain’s running mate with more haste than McCain advisers initially described.
Up until midweek last week, some 48 to 72 hours before Mr. McCain introduced Ms. Palin at a Friday rally in Dayton, Ohio, Mr. McCain was still holding out the hope that he could choose a good friend, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, a Republican close to the campaign said. Mr. McCain had also been interested in another favorite, former Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania.
But both men favor abortion rights, anathema to the Christian conservatives who make up a crucial base of the Republican Party. As word leaked out that Mr. McCain was seriously considering the men, the campaign was bombarded by outrage from influential conservatives who predicted an explosive floor fight at the convention and vowed rejection of Mr. Ridge or Mr. Lieberman by the delegates.
Perhaps more important, several Republicans said, Mr. McCain was getting advice that if he did not do something to shake up the race, his campaign would be stuck on a potentially losing trajectory.