Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sarah Palin, Rogue Veep Candidate

There's 9 or 10 days until Election Day... the days are getting longer, the nights shorter, nerves are frayed, and the inevitable tension between Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) are becoming more and more evident on the campaign trail. Key aides and advisors for both campaigns have begun to confide in the media covering the candidates as to the growing rift between them.

In an MSNBC interview with Chris Matthews (on MSNBC's "Hardball"), Chuck Todd revealed that he felt a tension between McCain and Palin when they sat down for an interview with NBC News' Brian Williams. Todd stated, "I couldn't see chemistry between John McCain and Sarah Palin. I felt as if we grabbed two people and said 'here, sit next to each other, we are going to conduct an interview.' They are not comfortable with each other..."

A CNN.com article reports that several McCain advisers are frustrated with "Palin going rogue." A Palin aide is reported as saying, "[Palin] is simply trying to 'bust free' [from] what she believes was a damaging and mismanaged [introduction to the public]."

McCain sources say that Palin has repeated gone off message, and are beginning to wonder if the incidents are deliberate.
  • She has labeled the robocalls that the McCain has deployed as "irritating," even though she recorded a number of them.

  • She told reporters that she disagreed with the Mccain campaign's decision to pull out of Michigan a few weeks, stating that she and her husband would gladly campaign there.

  • One McCain advisor has that she appears to be looking out for herself... looking ahead to running for President in 2012 rather than Vice President in 2008!


A McCain advisor stated, "She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone. ...also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves, as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom."

A Palin aide has acknowledged that she is trying to take more control of her message, pointing to last week's impromptu news conference on a Colorado Springs tarmac. Tracey Schmitt, Palin's press secretary, was urgently called over after Palin wandered over to the press and started talking. Schmitt tried in vain to end the unscheduled session.

Politico.com released an article that underlines the growing tension between the two candidates. Palin's aides put the blame squarely on Steve Schmidt, McCain's chief strategist, and Nicole Wallace, a former Bush aide who took a lead role in Palin's campaign. Palin's people blame mainly Wallace for having Palin avoid the media for days and then securing the that high-stakes disaster with CBS News' Katie Couric. It appears that Wallace did not have Palin's best interest at heart seeing that he left CBS to join the McCain campaign!

But a number of McCain aides defend the Wallace decision saying that Palin was "simply unready - 'green,' sloppy, and incomprehensibly willing to criticize McCain."

And after the ABC News fiasco with Charlie Gibson, the follow-up fiasco with CBS News' Katie Couric, and then the weekly lampoon and caricature of Palin by Tina Fey on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," it appears that Palin has decided that the only one who is gonna watch out for Sarah is Sarah!

The Politico.com article cites when Palin went "rogue":
When a McCain aide, speaking anonymously Friday to The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder, suggested that Palin's charge that [Sen. Barack] Obama was "palling around with terrorists" had "escaped HQ's vetting," it was Scheunemann who fired off an angry response that the speech was "fully vetted" and that to attack Palin for it was "bullshit."

Palin's "instincts," on display in recent days, have had her opening up to the media, including a round of interviews on talk radio, cable and broadcast outlets, as well as chats with her traveling press and local reporters.

Reporters really began to notice the change last Sunday, when Palin strolled over to a local television crew in Colorado Springs.

"Get Tracey," a staffer called out, according to The New York Times, summoning spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt, who reportedly "tried several times to cut it off with a terse 'Thank you!' in between questions, to no avail." The moment may have caused ulcers in some precincts of the McCain campaign, but it was an account Palin's admirers in Washington cheered.

Palin had also sought to give meatier policy speeches, in particular on energy policy and on policy for children with disabilities; she finally gave the latter speech Friday, but had wanted to deliver it much earlier.

She's also begun to make her own ad hoc calls about the campaign's direction and the ticket's policy. McCain, for instance, has remained silent on Democrats' calls for a stimulus package of new spending, a move many conservatives oppose but that could be broadly popular. But in an interview with the conservative radio host Glenn Beck earlier this week, Palin went "off the reservation" to make the campaign policy, one aide said.

"I say, you know, when is enough enough of taxpayer dollars being thrown into this bill out there?" she asked. "This next one of the Democrats being proposed should be very, very concerning to all Americans because to me it sends a message that $700 billion bailout, maybe that was just the tip of the iceberg. No, you know, we were told when we've got to be believing if we have enough elected officials who are going to be standing strong on fiscal conservative principles and free enterprise and we have to believe that there are enough of those elected officials to say, 'No, OK, that's enough.'"

~ ~ ~
But few imagine that Palin will be able to repair her image — and bad poll numbers — in the eleven days before the campaign ends. And the final straw for Palin and her allies was the news that the campaign had reported spending $150,000 on her clothes, turning her, again, into the butt of late-night humor.

"She never even set foot in these stores," the senior Republican said, noting Palin hadn't realized the cost when the clothes were brought to her in her Minnesota hotel room.

"It's completely out-of-control operatives," said the close ally outside the campaign. "She has no responsibility for that. It's incredibly frustrating for us and for her."

Between Palin's internal detractors and her allies, there's a middle ground: Some aides say that she's a flawed candidate whose handling exaggerated her weak spots.

"She was completely mishandled in the beginning. No one took the time to look at what her personal strengths and weaknesses are and developed a plan that made sense based on who she is as a candidate," the aide said. "Any concerns she or those close to her have about that are totally valid."

But the aide said that Palin's inexperience led her to her own mistakes:

"How she was handled allowed her weaknesses to hang out in full display."


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Read the Politico.com article about Rogue Sarah.

Read the CNN.com article about Sarah Palin's rogue streak.

Read the New York Times article about how Sarah Palin likes a good fight.

Read the New York Times article about Sarah Palin's high-priced makeup artist.

plez sez: go on with yo' bad self, sarah palin! something tells plezWorld that we haven't seen the last of "artic blast" palin!

mccain exercised poor judgement in being swayed by whatever forces swayed him into picking palin. he will go to his grave blaming her clueless ass for his loss! but it is his fault... his legacy will be being a bitter two-time loser (first to George W. Bush in 2000 and then to Barack Obama in 2008 - that skinny Black guy with the funny name and a Teflon coating) and she'll be back on the republican's radar in 2 years!

she'll probably re-invent herself for a 2012 run at the white house. considering the considerable vacuum in the party that bush (and mccain) have created, the party faithful will be looking for a conservative ideologue to "right the ship" and steer the party on a path to victory over Obama and the democrats during the 2012 election cycle. actually, she may have to hit the campaign trail to stay relevant during the 2010 midterm elections.

i'm assuming that Obama is going to win the white house. if he is unable to appear in charge of the economic recovery over the next 12 months OR if he has trouble taking care of all of the trouble in the middle east (iraq, afghanistan, and iran) over the next 24 months, then there will be a clear path for the conservatives to regain power in washington, dc.




3 comments:

Patrick Roberts said...

there has been mixed signals from the McCain camp since it's inception... looks like not even Sarah Palin can keep up with John McCain's unending wavering between "straight talker" and crooked polititian

Howard said...

Obama supporters who trashed Palin from day one are ranting about her wardrobe and other petty matters, while an anti-American Socialist / Marxist racist is about to highjack our government, with the help of voter fraud, and a corrupt biased media. You'd better wake up America ... or, this country is about to experience an ugly 4 year long nightmare under Obama/Biden !!!

plez... said...

patrick,
i agree... she was sold a "pig in a poke".

howard,
palin wasn't trashed for petty matters... she was (and remains) unprepared to be a national leader for this country.

i can only suppose that the anti-american socialist/marxist racist who you refer to is BARACK OBAMA... i wonder what caused you to suffer from such a delusion... and then have the "lucidity" to repeat it on my blog! i beg to differ with your assessment and i happen to think that an OBAMA/BIDEN administration is just what this country needs for the next EIGHT years!!!