A lot of people have been talking about this NY Times piece on the McCain team's non-vettin of Palin, and for good reason. But it's a hard story to quote from without quoting the whole thing because the incompetence and recklessness it points to makes it hard to isolate any one or two paragraphs.
Nevertheless, since much of the article has been quoted already, I'll just point out the last few paragraphs:
A number of Republicans said the McCain campaign had to some degree tied its hands in its effort to keep the selection process so secret.
“If you really want it to be a surprise, the circle of people that you’re going to allow to know about it is going to be small, and that’s just the nature of it,” said Dan Bartlett, a former counselor to President Bush.
Former McCain strategists disagreed on whether it would have been useful for Ms. Palin’s name to have been more publicly floated before her selection so that issues like the trooper investigation and her daughter’s pregnancy might have already been aired and not seemed so new at the time of her announcement.
“It’s a risk,” said Dan Schnur, a former McCain aide who now directs the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California. “No matter how great the candidate, it’s a significant risk to put someone on the ticket” who hasn’t been publicly scrutinized.
“They obviously felt it was worth the risk to rev up the base and potentially reach out to Clinton supporters,” Mr. Schnur said.
So, in order to keep the pick a "surprise", the McCain team essentially sacrificed any virtue to be derived from either a public or private vetting. It's hard to believe it came down to that. Truly staggering. Clearly the McCain team doesn't take the job of being president and any threats the country faces all that seriously.