Has McCain blown it with the Palin pick?

Has McCain blown it with the Palin pick?


    Is the election now about his VEEP – not Obama?

The chart shows the changing prices on John McCain on the £4m Betfair next president market over the past week covering the time leading upto the Palin announcement and afterwards.

As can be seen the early reaction has was very strong with punters seeing the Alaska governor as a big plus. Since then sentiment has been moving away as the focus has been on how McCain made his decision.

On the overall impact there was a very shrewd comment this afternoon by the excellent Chuck Todd on his ABC News blog.

He writes: The Palin distraction: Judging by conversations we’ve had various delegates, it’s clear Sarah Palin is going to be a big hit inside the Xcel Center. But if there’s one thing she’s done that’s a negative that has nothing to do with the vetting process or her own issues like the revelation of her 17-year-old daughter’s pregnancy, it’s that she’s taken the focus off of Obama. It seems like it’s been a month — though it’s been just a few days — that the RNC or McCain hasn’t had a sustained attack on the Illinois Democrat. As we’ve learned this summer, when this campaign is about Obama, the race is a lot closer than when it’s not about him. And right now, thanks to Palin, it’s not about him.”

Meanwhile the issue is switching to what this says about McCain.

This is from Andrew Sullivan: “To my mind, this pick is not about Palin’s unreadiness to be president. It’s about McCain’s unreadiness to be president. This act of judgment – a blend of ignorance, gut, cynicism, and pure egotism – makes him seem like a worse potential presdent than even George W. Bush. This is McCain’s first real executive decision. And it is unbelievably shallow, incompetent and reckless.”

Could McCain have screwed it?

Live White House race betting prices.

Mike Smithson

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