Okay. Choosing Palin was bold. Her Convention acceptance speech, to tens of thousands of Republicans who had never even heard of her, was a knockout. I watched it live and was stunned. She was hot. The faithful fell in love, the media as one dropped to their knees and thanked their respective deities. There was rejoicing in the land.
For a while. And then the cringe began inside the McCain campaign, and it spread. It spread.
Last week, reporting was that Palin would be granted B-list status at the convention and the campaign was dearly hoping she wouldn’t come at all. There was even talk – frivolous probably – that she’d have a shadow convention just to ‘stick it to them’ and feed the beast.
But that was before Ted Cruz, who is going to be the next Senator from Texas. Cruz is a new kind of Tea Party Republican: informed, capable, well-educated, attractive, terrific speaker – a credible candidate, a serious person.
So even though Romney’s people would despair at the idea of being forced to give Palin a prime speaking slot, it’s not as easy a decision as it was last week.
The conventional wisdom has been that Romney chooses Portman, Paultenty or possibly Ryan. (I’ve called it Portman.) Ryan could excite the base, but that would put the Ryan budget front and center and give Obama a really juicy bit to run against.
So what to do? The Palin decision must be made and a veep must be chosen. Might there be a way to have one over-shadow the other?
What if they brought in a shinier toy? What about out-McCain’ing McCain? Is there be a stealth candidate, a better-than-Palin, who could electrify the race?
Wouldn’t that be fun?