Politics means never, every admitting that you made a mistake, no matter how obvious it is to everyone but you. John McCain demonstrates this when he answered a question about whether he chose Palin over Romney because of problems with his tax returns:
Asked why he chose not to go with Romney, McCain said: “Oh come on, because we thought that Sarah Palin was the better candidate. Why did we not take [Tim] Pawlenty, why did we not take any of the other 10 other people. Why didn’t I? Because we had a better candidate, the same way with all the others. … Come on, why? That’s a stupid question.”
There’s that famous McCain prickliness, which is not unusual when you say something you know sounds stupid. So you make up for that with bluster. But his campaign manager does say that Romney’s wealth was seen as a liability:
Steve Schmidt, McCain’s top campaign adviser in 2008, told the Huffington Post that the contents of the tax returns were not viewed as a problem for their campaign. But Romney’s vast wealth was seen as a political liability that McCain could ill afford, he said.
“Sen. McCain got caught flat-footed answering a question about how many houses he owned,” Schmidt told the news website. “In fact, they were Cindy McCain’s properties but that distinction was lost in the political optics and we knew it would be a big liability that the presidential and the vice presidential candidates together owned more than a dozen homes. It was like something out of a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit. I mean, come on.”
And Palin brought that faux-folksiness to the campaign that it wanted so badly. What she didn’t add was competence, intelligence or any understanding of policy.