Gov. LSoS (R-AK)

Palin is caught on videotape telling two inconsistent stories about why she dumped the head of the state troopers. Ooops!

Oh, what a tangled web we weave …

Look, Governor, if you offer the Secretary of Public Safety a job running the alcoholic control board, saying that that would allow him to concenrate on the bootlegging cases he’s so good at, you can’t then turn around and say you fired him because he wasn’t making enough bootlegging cases. You see, there are these things called “television cameras.”

That the McCain camp hadn’t vetted this stuff out is beyond stunning. It’s a level of incompetence that we absolutely couldn’t afford in a President. It just reinforces the message that the young candidate the sane and responsible one, the safe bet, while the old candidate acts like a wild and crazy kid and is just too risky to have his finger anywhere near the button

Just this morning, the wingnuts were crowing about the excellent “counter-intelligence” (read: disinformation) skills displayed by McCain, compared to the leakage from the Obama camp. And it’s true that Palin was a complete surprise; 24 hours before the pick was announced, her contract was trading at 4 cents on the dollar, with the betting concentrated on Pawlenty and Romney. But what that ignores is Kleiman’s First Law of Karma Yoga: “You give surprises, you get surprises.”

By floating a bunch of names, not in the last forty-eight hours as distractions but as real candidates days or weeks inadvance, the Obama camp gave any problem with a candidate time to rise to the surface. If Alaska Republicans had really known that Palin was on more than the symbolic short list, someone probably would have dropped a dime and spared McCain what could be a terminal embarrassment.

At the rate things are going, McCain-Palin might not carry Alaska after all.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: