Peggy Noonan’s Right: It’s Over

What do they really think?

Caught on open mikes yesterday, three top political analysts–including two being long-time top Republican operatives–said what they really think about the Palin choice ("cynical"), and about McCain's prospects following that choice.

The money quote, from Peggy Noonan:

"It's over."

Peggy's right. On, Obama's odds of winning have gone from 60% to 70% in the last week. Other meta-analysis sites give him odds of 100% and 94.2%. (These last two: if the election were held today.)

Call it a convention bounce if you will, but lots of people are calling it the Palin bounce. As Nate Silver at 538 has pointed out, Palin only rallies the base–she won't convert independents and disaffected democrats. And the ever-shrinking base won't win it for them this time.

…if Obama's base solidifies, the numeric partisan ID advantage Democrats enjoy threatens to swamp [McCain's] campaign. A tie in base favorability goes to Obama. That has always been Obama's game. Solidify and turn out the base, keep his constant edge among independents, and McCain is essentially powerless to change the outcome.

Noonan tried to walk back her (accurate) opinion by retroactively adding spin to the top of her WSJ OpEd (which had said exactly the opposite just hours before she was caught on tape). But her explanation (Paraphrase: "I meant that the era of Republican dominance is over") doesn't make any sense in the context.

Decide for yourself: Here's the full open-mike transcript, from TPM, where you can also hear the conversation.
Speakers are NBC's Chuck Todd, Republican strategist Mike Murphy, and
Peggy Noonan (best known for her speechwriting for Reagan and Bush I).

Chuck Todd: Mike Murphy, lots of free advice, we'll see if Steve
Schmidt and the boys were watching. We'll find out on your blackberry.
Tonight voters will get their chance to hear from Sarah Palin and she
will get the chance to show voters she's the right woman for the job

Up next, one man who's already convinced and he'll us why Gov. Jon Huntsman.

(cut away)

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.

MM: Yeah.