The Note: Shades of Palin

It's important to get this end of things right: "I think this is clearly somebody in the McCain campaign who doesn't understand where the votes are coming from," conservative leader Phyllis Schlafly told ABC's Teddy Davis, after McCain folks abruptly canceled a scheduled Palin appearance. "They only told me this at 10 o'clock last night, and it was a call from somebody down-the-line in the McCain campaign. . . . The pro-lifers who paid $95 to come to this event because of Sarah Palin are going to be very unhappy."

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis, in a quote that didn't come out the way he intended: "This election is not about issues," Davis said in a chat with Washington Post reporters and editors. "This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."

As for the business of the convention -- better late than never.

"President Bush turned over the reins of the Republican Party to John McCain on Tuesday night and then stepped aside as Mr. McCain's friends touted him as a maverick and teamed up to blast his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, as the least-qualified nominee ever," Stephen Dinan writes in the Washington Times.

"Bush's party not only welcomed McCain as its nominee, but embraced him -- and his heroic life story -- as its inspiration, committing itself to putting a fresh, nonpartisan gloss on a Capitol it has dominated for the last eight years," Peter Canellos writes in The Boston Globe.

Maybe it was better that the president wasn't in the room.

"On a night when Republicans gave top billing to other speakers, the president's physical distance from the gathering in St. Paul -- his huge image was beamed out over an empty lectern to a crowd in the arena that cheered mostly at mentions of Mr. McCain -- also underscored the gulf between the Bush camp and the McCain one," Sheryl Gay Stolberg writes in The New York Times. "If the subplot of the Democratic convention in Denver was the lingering resentment between Mr. Obama and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the undercurrent here is the longstanding tension between Mr. Bush and Mr. McCain, and Mr. McCain's efforts to distance himself politically from the man he hopes to succeed."

It may be Sen. Joe Lieberman's final break, and he made it count: "Tonight, I ask you whether you are an independent, a Reagan Democrat or a Clinton Democrat, or just a Democrat. This year, when you vote for president, vote for the person you believe is best for the country, not for the party you happen to belong to," Lieberman said.

Josh Gerstein, in the New York Sun: "Mr. Lieberman, who caucuses with Democrats but has endorsed Mr. McCain, was widely expected to laud his Republican colleague last night. However, the senator of Connecticut went further, directly attacking the credentials of Mr. McCain's Democratic opponent, Senator Obama of Illinois."

Just across the river (as well as the divide): "Shut out of a visible role in the Republican convention, Texas congressman Ron Paul held his own raucous, shadow convention Tuesday night, officially launching a new political group he hopes will channel on some of the energy of his own failed presidential campaign," ABC's Nitya Venkataraman and Z. Byron Wolf report.

Ventura 2012? "Believe me, with people like myself, Dr. Paul, and the rest of us, let's get the revolution going," said former Gov. Jesse Ventura, I-Minn., speaking at Ron Paul's event. "If I see it start to rise up, well, then maybe in 2012."

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