Josh Painter over at RedState points out this exchange between George Stephanopoulos and Sen. John McCain on last Sunday’s This Week:
Today on ABC’s This Week, when asked by host George Stephanopoulos whether he would support Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin if she runs for president, Sen. John McCain punted:
“Oh no. Listen I have the greatest appreciation for Gov. Palin and her family and it was a great joy to know them,” McCain said. “She invigorated our campaign and she was just down in Georgia and she invigorated their campaign.”
“But I can’t say something like that,” McCain said, “We’ve got some great other young governors… Pawlenty, Huntsman.”
Pressed by Stephanopoulos that McCain had considered Palin to be the best person to succeed him if he had been elected and something had happened to him, the former Republican presidential candidate replied:
“Well sure, but now we’re in a whole election cycle.”
My first reaction on seeing this was ho-hum… I thought it was kind of a non-story. I never expected Sen. McCain to endorse Sarah Palin, or anyone else for that matter, this soon after the election.
After reading some of the comments posted on George Stephanopoulos’ blog and elsewhere I decided to throw my two cents in though.
Republicans didn’t lose this election because of Sarah Palin or John McCain. They fighting an uphill battle against their own record over last eight years.
They lost this election because they abandoned traditional conservative principles in favor of some sort of squishy, centrist/populist republicanism that lead to out of controlled spending bad policy ideas like campaign finance reform, no child left behind, and amnesty for illegal aliens.
Sen. McCain’s choice of Gov. Palin as a running mate may not have helped him with independent voters but there’s no doubt she energized grass roots conservatives and helped get them to the polls on election day… Without her I can’t help but think that a lot of conservatives would have stayed home on election day.
I’m not sure how or when the Republican party lost its way, but It’s obvious that that there’s a civil war of sorts going on in the republican party… Grass conservatives who want the party to return to traditional conservatives principles are battling inside the beltway cocktail party republicans who think the party should move further towards the populist “center”.
Defining traditional conservative principles isn’t a simple task but in short they start with a fundamental unwavering belief that, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, “… all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
If Republicans are going to have any chance in 2012, or in the 2010 midterms, they need to put principles before policy and start educating voters about the principles of fiscal responsibility, limited government, private property rights, and a strong national defense.