It’s a full blown disaster when Elisabeth Bumiller goes with this lede on page A1 of the New York Times:

ST. PAUL — A series of disclosures about Gov. Sarah Palin, Senator John McCain’s choice as running mate, called into question on Monday how thoroughly Mr. McCain had examined her background before putting her on the Republican presidential ticket.

Bumiller goes on to explain that McCain had wanted to put either Tom Ridge or Joe Lieberman on the ticket but was told that such a decision would cause a floor fight among the delegates. His back-ups, Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney, were seen as too conventional and unlikely to alter McCain’s losing trajectory. So, McCain turned to Sarah Palin at the last moment without really vetting her.

That’s the narrative that’s spelled out all over the front-page of the paper of record. And the details are even more damaging.

Representative Gail Phillips, a Republican and former speaker of the State House, said the widespread surprise in Alaska when Ms. Palin was named to the ticket made her wonder how intensively the McCain campaign had vetted her.

“I started calling around and asking, and I have not been able to find one person that was called,” Ms. Phillips said. “I called 30 to 40 people, political leaders, business leaders, community leaders. Not one of them had heard. Alaska is a very small community, we know people all over, but I haven’t found anybody who was asked anything.”

It’s the McSame kind of judgment that went into the decision to invade Iraq. Happy convention, GOP!!

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