by animated, Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 07:38:14 PM EDT
ABC's Jan Crawford Greenburg has a fascinating piece up on McCain's decision making process in choosing Sarah Palin to be his running mate.
Apparently Palin was a last-minute pick, was only vetted this week, and was only chosen by McCain once it became clear that his desired pick, Lieberman, wasn't feasible.
It wasn't until Sunday night that John McCain, after meeting with his four top advisers, finally decided he could not tap independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut to be his running mate. One adviser, tasked with taking the temperature of the conservative base, had strongly made the case to McCain that it would be a disaster for the party and that the base would revolt. McCain concluded he could not go that route.
The next day, McCain studied the three men at the top of his shortlist: Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge. All had different strengths and negatives, but McCain was not satisfied. None of them had what McCain believed he needed to do -- and would have done -- with Lieberman.
The campaign secretly flew Palin into Dayton last night. She and McCain met privately for a couple of hours. McCain concluded she would "shake up the system" and was "a maverick," qualities he believed Lieberman would have brought to the ticket. But she also would appeal to conservatives -- which Lieberman most certainly would not have done.
After their meeting, McCain concluded he was comfortable with his choice. He notified Pawlenty this morning that he was going in a different direction.
I had been wondering in the back of my mind if the success of the Dem Convention - and Obama's bump in the polls - had led McCain to panic. Now we have confirmation that he did indeed make the decision to pick Palin while all of this was going on - and made the final call during or after Obama's acceptance speech.