Dowd, the former Bush pollster, had this to say on a panel of DC notables this afternoon (including Joe Klein, from whom I got this):

"They didn't let John McCain pick the person he wanted to pick as VP," Dowd declared during the Time Warner Summit panel. "When Sarah Palin got picked instead of Joe Lieberman, which I fundamentally believed would have given John McCain the best opportunity in this race... as soon as he picked Palin, that whole ready versus not ready argument was not credible."

Saying that Palin was a "net negative" on the ticket, he went on: "[McCain] knows, in his gut, that he put somebody unqualified on the ballot. He knows that in his gut, and when this race is over that is something he will have to live with... He put somebody unqualified on that ballot and he put the country at risk, he knows that."

What else is there to say but, "agreed"? (At least assuming Dowd means "conservatives" when he says "They didn't let...") 

--Noam Scheiber