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Sarah Palin's selection as VP zinged by veteran GOP aides Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy

Two Republican message-crafters who are well known within party circles but who in this presidential campaign find themselves outside looking in -- Mike Murphy and Peggy Noonan -- offered unvarnished opinions of the Sarah Palin VP pick today when they thought they were un-miked after an appearance on MSNBC.

The mikes turned out to be hot, their thoughts were not complimentary toward John McCain's choice and the comments quickly made their way onto YouTube.

Murphy terms the Palin pick "cynical;" Noonan says it means the race is "over" (and presumably not in a favorable way for her party).

See below. But be forewarned: Murphy, who worked for McCain previously but won't be anytime soon, and Noonan, famed for crafting George H.W. Bush's" No New Taxes" speech at the 1988 GOP convention and currently a Wall Street Journal columnist, use profanities in expressing themselves.

-- Don Frederick

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The so called religious right blackmailed McCain into accepting Palin in exchange for their support, remember, prior to Palin, Dobson said he won't vote for McCain, that is why it was a surprise; those choosing her were such a small select group.
But even if Palin is bumped McCain will still be the presidential nominee. That is where the problem started.

At last, some honest Republicans. There isn't a guy in the world that is more determined to be president than McCain and he will do whatever it takes to get there. Even if it means hiring crazies and nut jobs.

"Straight Talk Express" indeed! hahaha


I agree with their assessment though...too gimmicky a choice. McCain went away from the successful Republican strategy when he probably needed to stay with it.

May I recommend a topical poem?

"Waiting for the Barbarians" by Constantine Cafavy, 1904.

It figures the only time I would agree with the disingenuous Noonan and Murphy is when they are caught saying what they truly believe on a hot mike. Is it too much to hope that obscurity will follow this oversight? Haven't we been lied to enough already by these severely compromised sources?

Can someone please transcribe this. I cant understand the commentary......

Noonan has been on a steady road to senility, and gushes over the Messiah Obama who has even less experience than Palin. At this point Noonan is an embarrassment that has long since stop being relevant!!!

This whole thing gets more weird every day.
It's clear why McSame picked this excessive breeder to be his VP (cynicism) but it still does not make me feel better that they are helping to make a mockery out of this election..

The McCain campaign should be charged with political malfeasance for this one: creationism, censonship, zero foreign polcy experience, cramming to get up to speed on national issues, ready to lead on day one. CNN reported today: MINN, blue; IOWA, blue, OHIO, tending, Obama. Polling done after the Palin nomination was announced. Thanks Republicans.

If you want the transcript, it is here.

How dishonest these winger pundits are. They praise McCain-Palin when they know the mike is on but tell each other how they really feel when they think the mike is off.

One must discount as abject speculators the remarks of these two. Palin is real -- and win or lose -- she helps McCain discharge the Old Republican image. They just don't like a person cut from a different mold that is the style of the Washington DC New York corridor.

Besides, Palin's experience makes the Democrats appear foolish in not chosing Hillary and going with a guy with no real experience.

Noonan, Murphy, and who knows how many more feel that way, but they continue to lie about the 'country first' and that Palin's the most qualified.. give me a break!.. it's typical Republican.

Apparently when the media are off camera and drop the script, they turn into normal people instead of the person they play on camera.

All anyone pretty much wants is the truth from you guys, plain and simple. Don't play a character, be yourselves. We may trust you more.

I don't know about that, but hey, what does this do to the referendum on the California ballot in Nov., that says that "marriage" should be the exclusive domain of heteros? If they get to enjoy illicit sex too, then what gives them the right to monopolize monogamous sex. I'm confused.

News item (AP photo by Susan Walsh):
Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin greet Republican presidential candidate John McCain as he arrives in Minneapolis for his party's convention in St. Paul.

"They just don't like a person cut from a different mold that is the style of the Washington DC New York corridor."

Gimme a break, Otis. Perhaps you're typing this from your cell in Mayberry. Not only is it laughable that you lump the politico atmosphere of Washington D.C. with New York (a large city rife with many "styles"), but what is it about Palin that distances her from a political sheen? Certainly not her efforts as mayor and governor to use her power to browbeat those under her to toe the line. Perhaps you meant her sports journalism background or her Rush Limbaugh-approved legs?

"Besides, Palin's experience makes the Democrats appear foolish in not chosing Hillary and going with a guy with no real experience."

So . . . he's got no experience and yet manages to be a "Washington/New York" politician-as-usual? Man, righty talking points love swallowing their own tails.

To Otis who said that Palin helps "discharge the Old Republican image."

You're absolutely correct. Republicans used to be thought of as the party of fiscal restraint, keeping government out of our checkbooks and bedrooms, and a firm belief in the separation of church and state.

Now we have all that as well as a disciple of the Flat Earth Society.

just telling the truth

Interesting how today's Noonan column complained about how pundits live in a bubble. Congrats Peg - you're the Queen of BubbleLand.

As a lifelong Republican I'm disgusted and embarassed by my party's choices. McCain won a weak field and further weakened the party with both his VP choice and having that toad Lieberman speak at our convention. I never thought I'd say this, but Obama is the most trustworthy candidate now. I hope we can improve by 2012.

She insulted The Great State of Texas and Texans when she refused to have her child in Texas and instead at the risk of her child dying flew for 12 hours to Alaska just so her son would be an Alaskan instead of a Texan.

mmmmm.... Poetic Justice.

I think the real point here is that the "Liberal media" is actually compliant with the GOP and right wing when it comes to letting them lie about their real thoughts on air and then chat about their true, and exactly opposite beliefs, than the spin they are selling after the red light goes out.

you guys are a bunch of liberal nuts just like the L A times.
no womder the times is going under .AVERAGE PEOPLE CAN SEE THROUGH THIS GARBAGE

Yep they want change - they want to change the country back to the way it was 50 years ago.

McCain has made a mockery out of the electoral process by choosing Palin. She is not qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. and McCain is counting on the Rove spin doctors to create an acceptable image. The fact is we hardly know her and what we know is disturbing. She is a creationist, anti-environment, denier of global warming, pro-gun, hard core evangelical who fired a city librarian for resisting censorship. She is a double-talker who fought for huge earmarks for her tiny town. She appointed a man convicted of sexual harassment to be in charge of Public Security. She is a hypocrite who attacked Hillary as a whiner and now wants to ride Clinton’s coat tails. McCain is not putting his “Country First”-her candidacy has derailed the electoral process since accepting or rejecting her has become the election itself.

At this point, is there anything lamer then using, "I had no idea the mike was on!" as an excuse for putting out a message that you know will create a reaction, but don't have the guts to back up? This excuse particularily lacks substance since the people using it know exactly that every word they say once the mike is attached or near will most likely be recorded.

The Idiocracy Wing of the republican party (that is, the 99% of the party) forced McCain's hand on this pick. What an embarassing trainwreck in progress, but I can't help but watch.

Thank you, L.A. Times. I strongly suspected that the Republicans felt this way about McCain's choice of Palin, but that they just refused to admit it in public. But now we have proof.

So, at least we know that GOP members aren't morons. They realize a really bad pick when the see one. They are simply hypocritical when it comes to expressing their opinions in public.

Who vetted John McCain's VP Pick? The Clippers?

Ever since McCain announced his pick of Palin, watching the Republican party has been like watching a train wreck in slow motion. It's nice that Murphy and Noonan can see that.

the only way to change this stuff is vote third party.

ron paul or barr

Wow, such vitriol and hate speech and sexism. I'm not sold on McCain-Palin, but you Democrats are shrill in your denunciation...but no facts! Only bile and insults! Do you smell blood in the water? Namely yours? It'll be an interesting vote.

I think the real lesson here is just how much the whole opinion/pundit/expert discussion is entirely gamed and just how pervasive and accepted right wing propaganda is.

OK, I'm now coming to accept my spouse's theory that the Republicans have wanted to lose this election from the get-go because W has so screwed up the country that no one will be able to succeed, so let the Democrats take the blame.

These two commentators are not even smart enough to know when their mikes are on! That makes it pretty hard to take their thoughts very seriously.

Naw, the Clippers didn't vet Palin. That implies a team was sent to check her out. I doubt they even cracked open a newspaper article.

I'll tell you what - if people believe that after 8 years of lies and economic collapse, that suddenly the republicans have seen the light, FOR REAL this time... god help this country. They said the same crap four years ago, and all we got was Katrina, a collapsing credit market, and mission creep on Iraq.

Freedom they said. Freedom. I'd love to know what their definition of "Freedom" is, and for whom.

Even though it was obvious that McCain had no chance against Barack Obama, his (poor) choice of VP has put the election of the first African American President of the United States of America beyond doubt. If it was embarrassing to hear the comments of those two old republican die hards, it was way beyond that to see and hear Palin tonight. The world of politics belongs to far more experienced and capable people than this bible bashing mother of five.

Don't you just love the line that Palin is an "expert" on Russia, because Juneau is 1,250 miles from a bunch of frozen seals on the other side of the date line?

The crap they are asking us to swallow is just not palatable.

Good to see them choking on their own stuff!

Hilarious. Even the Republican operatives admit the choice of Palin was "cynical" "political b.s." McCain's campaign is falling apart before our eyes.

Wish McCain had chosen MICHAEL Palin as his running mate. Now THAT would have been a hoot. And considerably less cynical a choice, too.

Seems staged. Isn't it suspicious how long this "hot mike" exchange went on? And then we cut away as soon as all the verbal hand grenades have all been lobbed. Hollywood couldn't have scripted it better.

Maybe Noonan and Murphy are trying to throw this election, the same way Republicans threw the Dole campaign. Maybe they prefer a stealth-Republican like Obama to do their dirty work, the same way Bill Clinton erased protections for workers and restrictions on predatory banks.

This is one big farce. Time to vote for real change -- VOTE NADER!

Jen Thalmann

Come home Sarah. Wasilla still needs your leadership and experience.

Did you notice that the first part of the hot-mike segment was clipped? Here's Peggy Noonan's response at the WSJ:

Ms Noonan in a editorial in the Wall Street journal tried to clarify what she was really saying. say to her your words as a writer have meaning, stand up and be accountable for your statements. After all, it i what it is, every body can listen for themselves.

it was planned


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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