Republican Lament: What If Sarah Palin Never Happened?

Now that it’s clear that Sarah Palin, on the whole, has been more of a liability than an asset to John McCain, the following question becomes almost irresistible: What if McCain had picked someone else?

“I think the dynamics would be different in Pennsylvania,” that state’s former governor, Tom Ridge, acknowledged a few days ago when asked how the G.O.P. might have fared had he been part of it. “I think we’d be foolish not to admit it publicly.”

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