I went to a Catholic Republicans event in St. Paul this morning, where Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback was the first to take the podium. Brownback dropped out of the GOP race last fall and endorsed John McCain a few weeks later. He's been a loyal McCain man ever since. Given that, I was a little surprised by what he said about the Palin announcement: "McCain is good on those issues [abortion, etc.]," he told the crowd. "But it was kind of like, 'where's his heart?'" He then gushed that picking Palin demonstrated once and for all how passionate McCain is about "life."

That's a pretty solid indication the McCain camp felt it had real problems with social conservatives. Brownback has been doing Catholic outreach for McCain for almost a year now. He's in a pretty good position to know both how social conservatives felt about McCain, and what the McCain camp felt it needed to do about it.

--Noam Scheiber