As the Republican team packs up their bat and ball and goes home, the fallout begins — the pundits pontificate about what went wrong, while the McCain camp begins to leak like a battered old bucket about the pitbull from up north and all the problems she brought with her.

Highlights from Newsweek’s special election project. On the Sunday night before the last debate, McCain’s core group of advisers — Steve Schmidt, Rick Davis, adman Fred Davis, strategist Greg Strimple, pollster Bill McInturff and strategy director Sarah Simmons — met to decide whether to tell McCain that the race was effectively over, that he no longer had a chance to win. The consensus in the room was no, not yet, not while he still had “a pulse.” — Newsweek

More trouble than a pitbull. An exasperated McCain has been telling friends in recent weeks that Palin is even more trouble than a pitbull. In one joke doing the rounds, the Republican presidential candidate has been asking friends: what is the difference between Sarah Palin and a pitbull? The friendly canine eventually lets go, is the McCain punchline. — Guardian

The day John McCain lost the election. Warren the Investor and Paul the Central Banker vs. Joe the Plumber was never going to be much of a fair fight. Given the macroeconomic backdrop of recent years and the microeconomic disasters of recent weeks, neither was the presidential campaign, which is why Obama has won the White House. — Slate

Economic crisis turned tide against McCain. To several McCain advisers, Sen. McCain’s public show of dealing with the crisis by trying to broker a bailout deal between the president and Congress had fallen flat. “We completely blew it,” said one. “The execution of a potentially great move couldn’t have been worse.” — Wall Street Journal

How the GOP got here. Well that wasn’t good news for the Right, last night! National Review Online asked some regulars to address: “What happened to the Republican party Tuesday? Who’s to blame?” — National Review

We got the thumping we deserved. The Obama Democrats’ greatest ally will almost certainly be the addled Republican Party, which will be wandering around for some time like a google-eyed Wile E. Coyote after he’s had an anvil dropped on his head. The recriminations on the right will make the Night of the Long Knives look like a knitting-needle ticklefest. — NPR

Huckabee: We will be back. Our problem is not that our views aren’t acceptable, is that many in our party have abandoned the very principles that once drew Americans to trust us. Our party will be back with strength, but tonight we should all celebrate the historic nature of this election and put our country ahead of our party. — Mike Huckabee, RedState

Peter Fray

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