They've been putting on a brave front, but the smart ones at least are faking. Here is the transcript of a mistakenly-recorded conversation between Peggy Noonan, former Reagan speechwriter, Mike Murphy, former McCain campaign director, and journalist Chuck Todd:
Peggy Noonan: Yeah.
Mike Murphy: You know, because I come out of the blue swing state governor world: Engler, Whitman, Tommy Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. I mean, these guys -- this is how you win a Texas race, just run it up. And it's not gonna work. And --
PN: It's over.
MM: Still McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech to do himself some good.
CT: I also think the Palin pick is insulting to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, too.
PN: Saw Kay this morning.
CT: Yeah, she's never looked comfortable about this --
MM: They're all bummed out.
CT: Yeah, I mean is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to?
PN: The most qualified? No! I think they went for this -- excuse me-- political bullshit about narratives --
CT: Yeah they went to a narrative.
MM: I totally agree.
PN: Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it.
MM: You know what's really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism, and this is cynical.
CT: This is cynical, and as you called it, gimmicky.
This is basically my (and I think much of the Left's) take on the whole thing: that Palin is a tone-deaf disaster, that there were many more qualified women, and that McCain's decision making process will come to be seen (if it isn't yet) as myopic and cynical.