We are going to learn a lot in coming weeks, months, and years about the drivers that pushed John McCain in certain directions that undermined his presidential campaign. Sarah Palin is the biggest of these mysteries.
But last night, I give McCain a great deal of credit for embracing the notion that this is a historic moment and that the nation has embraced the transformational promise of Barack Obama.
I thought Senator McCain was at his old best last night — and he moved me with statements like “Barack Obama has been inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.”
It was a gracious and magnanimous concession speech, but McCain had an ugly audience. And we need to remember that there are many in America who are not swept up in this moment and who may try to stand in the way of progress.
One of the interesting things I noted in McCain’s posture last night was a quick acknowledgment and dismissal of Sarah Palin. He basically said she would do well “in Alaska.” He hugged her quickly, shook Todd’s hand fast — and departed as fast as he could away from them off the other side of the stage. He didn’t stand with them at all, at least as I saw this on television.
But she won’t fade from the scene.
— Steve Clemons