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Monday, September 08, 2008

Palin's first gaffe? Huffington Post catches the would-be vice president having absolutely no clue what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are. I'd actually call this the second major gaffe—I still think the "I said thanks but no thanks to the Bridge to Nowhere" lie will cause her major problems if she ever talks to an actual journalist.

Meanwhile, at Washington Monthly, Steve Benen chronicles John McCain slowly losing his base, one by one. Today, it's Sebastian Mallaby.

McCain used to be a real straight talker. On campaign finance, spending earmarks, Iraq and immigration, he has fought bravely for his principles; and that record might have been a trump against an opponent who has taken almost no such risks. But we are now witnessing what might be called McCain's Palinization. McCain once criticized Christian conservatives as agents of intolerance, but he has caved in to their intolerance of a pro-choice running mate. McCain claims to be devoted to his country, yet he would saddle it with a vice president who is unprepared to serve as commander in chief. In the same sad way, McCain has caved in to his party's anti-tax fanatics. The man of principle has become a panderer. The straight talker flip-flops.