Well now. A bit bold, shall we say. Nonetheless, there it is:
And that’s Mike Murphy in there as well, also piling it on. In both cases, they’re chalking it up to McCain’s choice of VP. Well then.
Sure, it’s a big ol’ point-and-laugh — but you know, it’s the best one of the week so far. Puts this latest piece of hers in some perspective. But hey, tell your audience what they want to hear — and then talk amongst yourselves.
Noonan: [Can’t hear since Todd (who is still on air) is talking over her]
Murphy: Um, you know, because, I come out of the blue swing state governor world. Engler, Whitman, Tommy Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, I mean, and these guys, this is all how you win a Texas race, just run it up, and it’s not gonna work.
Noonan: It’s Over.
Murphy: Still, McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech and do himself some good.
Todd: [can’t really tell what he says, but he mentions something about “insulting to Kay Baily Hutchinson]
Noonan: I saw Kay this morning…
Todd: She’s never looked comfortable up there..
Murphy: They’re all bummed out.
Todd: I mean, is she really the most qualified woman they can obtain?
Noonan: The most qualified? No. I think they went for this, excuse me, political bullshit about narratives…[couldn’t hear the end of it]
Todd: Yeah, but what’s a narrative?
Murphy: I totally agree.
Noonan: Every time Republicans do that, because that’s not where they live and it’s not what they’re good at, they blow it.
Murphy: You know what’s the worst thing about it, the greatest of McCain is no cynicism, and..
Murphy and Todd together: This is cynical.
Todd: And as you called it, gimmicky.
Far be it from me to gainsay anyone speaking, really.
[EDIT: Ah, here we go -- I knew this wouldn't take long:
We were speaking informally, with some passion -- and into live mics. An audio tape of that conversation was sent, how or by whom I don't know, onto the internet.
(A quick note from me -- audio tape? This IS 2008, right?)
...In our off-air conversation, I got on the subject of the leaders of the Republican party assuming, now, that whatever the base of the Republican party thinks is what America thinks. I made the case that this is no longer true, that party leaders seem to me stuck in the assumptions of 1988 and 1994, the assumptions that reigned when they were young and coming up. "The first lesson they learned is the one they remember," I said to Todd -- and I'm pretty certain that is a direct quote. But, I argued, that's over, those assumptions are yesterday, the party can no longer assume that its base is utterly in line with the thinking of the American people. And when I said, "It's over!" -- and I said it more than once -- that is what I was referring to. I am pretty certain that is exactly what Todd and Murphy understood I was referring to. In the truncated version of the conversation, on the Web, it appears I am saying the McCain campaign is over. I did not say it, and do not think it.
However, I did say two things that I haven't said in public, either in speaking or in my writing. One is a vulgar epithet that I wish I could blame on the mood of the moment but cannot. No one else, to my memory, swore. I just blurted. The other, more seriously, is a real criticism that I had not previously made, but only because I hadn't thought of it. And it is connected to a thought I had this morning, Wednesday morning, and wrote to a friend. Here it is. Early this morning I saw Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and as we chatted about the McCain campaign (she thoughtfully and supportively) I looked into her eyes and thought, Why not her? Had she been vetted for the vice presidency, and how did it come about that it was the less experienced Mrs. Palin who was chosen? I didn't ask these questions or mention them, I just thought them. Later in the morning, still pondering this, I thought of something that had happened exactly 20 years before. It was just after the 1988 Republican convention ended. I was on the plane, as a speechwriter, that took Republican presidential nominee George H.W. Bush, and the new vice presidential nominee, Dan Quayle, from New Orleans, the site of the convention, to Indiana. Sitting next to Mr. Quayle was the other senator from that state, Richard Lugar. As we chatted, I thought, "Why him and not him?" Why Mr. Quayle as the choice, and not the more experienced Mr. Lugar? I came to think, in following years, that some of the reason came down to what is now called The Narrative. The story the campaign wishes to tell about itself, and communicate to others. I don't like the idea of The Narrative. I think it is ... a barnyard epithet.
I feel better already. As do her editors. Doubtless.]