I’m going out on a limb here. I’ll try making a political prediction: Before the November 4 election, John McCain will replace Sarah Palin on his ticket.
It will probably happen just before or just after the VP debate on October 2.
Some excuse will be proffered, probably a variation on, “Governor Palin needs to spend more time with her special-needs infant.”
Rather than replace her with some well-known figure, McCain will choose another obscure female candidate.
Why? As Chris Matthews said on The Rachel Maddow Show, “razzle-dazzle.” Every time the poll numbers and the media narrative have turned against McCain, he has responded with a wild Hail Mary action to steal back the narrative.
Barack Obama’s acceptance speech electrifies the nation? Name Sarah Palin as VP.
The Palin novelty factor wears off and the economic crisis highlights McCain’s weaknesses? Faux “suspend” the campaign “for the national good.”
Now, as pundits and people seem to say that Obama was the winner of the first presidential debate, McCain’s numbers continue to erode in key battleground states, and the New York Times has just published an article detailing McCain’s troubling links to the gambling industry, it’s time for a new Hail Mary pass.
What would be big enough to change the media narrative again come Monday morning? Replacing his campaign manager with Rudy Giuliani? Maybe.
But if he doesn’t replace Palin before her Thursday debate with senate veteran Joe Biden, his campaign could be looking at a crippling gut-punch. What better way to forestall the pain than to have Palin recuse herself from the campaign on Wednesday, leaving no VP debate on the schedule?
Then all McCain has to do is pick another mystery Veep and let the media “run out the clock” for him, vetting this new cipher, giving him weeks of free air time, and all but shouldering Obama and Biden off the stage.
It would be erratic, insane, and unsettling. But in our ADD culture, it just might work.
I hope I’m wrong, and that McCain keeps this Alaskan Albatross around his neck, and that they lose.
But we’ll see.