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Palin pushes McCain staff aside as blame game begins

By Jimmy Orr / October 26, 2008

Jake Turcotte

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Bill Clinton used Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" as his theme for the 1992 presidential campaign. If reports of strife between Sarah Palin and the McCain campaign hold water, then the Alaska Governor might want to tap into Fleetwood Mac's library as well (assuming she wouldn't get sued, which is a big assumption). Her campaign song? "Go Your Own Way."

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As most polls show Barack Obama pulling away from John McCain, there are rumblings and perhaps signs that Palin is pulling away as well.

They're not my staff

No, it doesn't appear that the Republican vice presidential candidate has any problems with McCain himself. But there are indications that she doesn't necessarily like his staff or has any future intention of following them.

Perhaps she gave up on following them earlier. Aides to McCain cite recent examples where Palin took things into her own hands. In Colorado last week, she insisted  on talking to reporters on a tarmac despite attempts by Palin staff to shut down the conversation. She also denounced McCain robo-calls. Before that, she was outspoken about her disappointment with the campaign decision to pull out of Michigan.

I'm done with 'em

Supporters of Palin say she's had it with the campaign staff.

"She's lost confidence in most of the people on the [campaign] plane," a Palin insider told Politico. He says she would like to further ignore staff advice and do things her own way.

But CNN reports campaign aides say she's a selfish renegade.

"She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone," said this McCain adviser. "She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family, or anyone else."

Bad introduction

Palin has let it be known that she's not happy with the way she was introduced to the public following her speech at the Republican National Convention. Her supporters say the real Sarah Palin is the one who electrified the crowd that night in early September.

Yes, she had a teleprompter at that event. But they say she's a natural and if she was able to interact with the media from the beginning instead of being quarantined from the press for nearly three weeks, the results would have been different.

Perhaps this is true. The New York Times has a detailed story this morning that could back that -- or at least demonstrate that McCain aides were impressed with how she handled questions even on issues she was unfamiliar with. The story, in discussing how Palin was selected as the running mate, recounts campaign manager Rick Davis's reaction to how she dealt with the press.

One tape in particular struck Davis as arresting: an interview with Palin and Gov. Janet Napolitano, the Arizona Democrat, on “The Charlie Rose Show” that was shown in October 2007. Reviewing the tape, it didn’t concern Davis that Palin seemed out of her depth on health-care issues or that, when asked to name her favorite candidate among the Republican field, she said, “I’m undecided.” What he liked was how she stuck to her pet issues — energy independence and ethics reform — and thereby refused to let Rose manage the interview.

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