Republican insiders caught by hot mic: Race is over

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Don't expect Republican strategist Michael Murphy and Wall Street Journalist column Peggy Noonan to receive Christmas cards from the John McCain and Sarah Palin campaign this year.

On the most critical night of the year so far for the McCain-Palin ticket, the two Republican insiders were talking with MSNBC's Chuck Todd about the Palin VP selection.  The segment wraps up.  End of story.

Not so fast.

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The problem? They kept talking. The mics were still on, and they didn't know it.

So what do they think when not spouting the made-for-TV talking points?

"It's not going to work," Murphy said.

Noonan said the race was over, and that Palin was not the most qualified woman for the job.

What would be most interesting is to hear what they said before they thought they were off the air.

Watch the video here.

Here's the transcript of the exchange - thanks to Talking Points Memo

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 bull**** 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.

***Updated 8:43pm.  Peggy Noonan has since provided an explanation for her statement "it's over" over at the Wall Street Journal.***

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