Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) on This Week With George Stephanopoulos, discussing the nomination of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for the GOP’s vice presidential slot:
KERRY: What John McCain has proven with this choice — this is very important, George. John McCain wanted to choose Tom Ridge. He wanted to choose Joe Lieberman. He wanted to choose another candidate, but you know what? Rush Limbaugh and the right wing vetoed it.
Why carry McCain’s water for him? Saying that he had to choose Palin because he was told to choose her lets his judgment off the hook and leaves the impression that Kerry thinks McCain would have made a good choice if left on his own. It promotes the idea that McCain’s essentially a decent guy, just a “prisoner of the right wing,” and that he’d be better if they’d left him alone. This kind of constant excuse-making is why the Democratic party is still saddled with people like Joe Lieberman. It’s why they have a hard time making a case for effective change (presuming they want to).