According to a report from Axios, based on a new book entitled "Insurgency: How Republicans Lost Their Party and Got Everything They Ever Wanted," by the New York Times' Jeremy Peters, the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) acknowledged he was taking a big risk when he decided to ask Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) to be his running mate in his, ultimately, losing campaign against Barack Obama.
The report notes that McCain's advisors -- and his wife -- were split on asking the controversial governor to be part of the ticket, with some fearing she would be too divisive.
According to Peters' book, "Mark Salter, a longtime aide to McCain, cautioned him that voters could see a Palin pick as discordant with the message of readiness and experience that the campaign had been focusing on as a contrast with Obama, a forty-seven-year-old first-term senator. 'There’s worse things, John, than losing an election. You could lose your reputation,' Salter told him."
Campaign manager Steve Schmidt, who has gone on to become a critic of the Republican Party since the election of Donald Trump, acknowledged she was a gamble but that she might help a campaign that was faltering as the election neared.
According to Peters, "[Schmidt] told McCain he should consider whether it would be worth it if he chose Palin and lost, but also knew in the end that he’d lost because he did something bold. 'What you’ve got to decide,' Schmidt told the senator, 'is would you rather lose by seven going for it?' McCain turned to his wife, Cindy. 'John, it's a gamble,' she said. This made McCain's face light up. 'Well, I wish you hadn’t said that,' he said. McCain, an avid craps player, balled up his fist and blew on it, then shook it like he was about to roll a pair of dice. 'F*ck it,' he said. 'Let's do it.'"
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