The Corner

Not So Swift

As Andy suggests, there may have been good ways to take shots at Obama over the “lipstick on a pig” comment. But the Republicans are coming across as whiny grievance-mongers. Don’t they realize that this harping on ambiguous slights is what people hate about political correctness? It was bad enough when liberals were trying to destroy Palin. Now Republicans are trashing her brand. They’re undermining the basis of her appeal as a different, tougher kind of female politician. Today has been worse than wasted.

Having Jane Swift lead the McCain campaign’s Palin Truth Squad is an additional mistake. It’s not just that she was an incompetent and unpopular governor of Massachusetts, although she was, and had nothing like Palin’s credentials as a reformer. Her administration was a failure in significant part because of her inability to walk the line between public and private, work and family. She was the last female governor before Palin to be prominent for being pregnant in office, and she made a hash of things, using state aides as babysitters. Couldn’t the campaign have found someone who wasn’t such a counter-example to Palin?

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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