Really, Mark Salter?
The senator’s selection of Governor Palin, like almost every major decision in the campaign, was viewed as a cynical and self-interested choice intended to excite social conservatives, who hadn’t shown much enthusiasm for the top of the ticket. Surely, no one would have advised our candidate to choose a running mate who would have lengthened the odds against us. But overlooked in the brisk dismissal that Governor Palin might have qualities other than her social conservative credentials and obvious retail political skills was her actual appeal to John McCain. (Emphasis Nitpicker's.)Hey, Mark? I'm pretty sure we noticed Palin's "actual appeal to John McCain."
Salter only makes things worse when he writes:
I think I know the real John McCain as well as anybody does. And though I’m sure my claim will provoke comments that I’m still busy creating a McCain myth that only looked authentic once, the real John McCain showed up every day of this campaign. He was there in the primaries defending his positions on immigration reform and the treatment of enemy prisoners of war and climate change.Look, even the right admitted McCain flip-flopped on immigration. Early on in the primaries he flopped so hard to the right on immigration he rejected his own bill. He also went from stating clearly that waterboarding is a “terrible and odious practice” that “should never be condoned in the U.S" to arguing that Bush should veto a bill that would have said that the U.S. would never condone waterboarding.
I would argue that Salter is involved in mythmaking here, except the man's a pretty good writer. As such, he ought to know that myths, in order to believed, must have some small connection to reality.