Palin pushes McCain staff aside as blame game begins
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The public, especially with her interview with CBS anchor Katie Couric, saw an uncomfortable, tightly scripted Palin who would - like a magnet - gravitate back to talking points instead of engaging in a real conversation. The series of interviews were cringe-inducing and gave Saturday Night Live an abundance of material.
Sensing a sinking ship, reports are that some McCain staffers in attempts to save themselves from being blamed for a McCain - Palin loss are beginning to point fingers. And in this case directly at the VP nominee, according to CNN.
"Her lack of fundamental understanding of some key issues was dramatic," said another McCain source with direct knowledge of the process to prepare Palin after she was picked. The source said it was probably the "hardest" to get her "up to speed than any candidate in history."
She is ready
That's not the Sarah Palin the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes knows.
"When I spent nearly two hours with Palin last year at the governor's house in Juneau, I was struck by three things. She's very smart, brimming with self-confidence, and not intimidated by the media."
Properly vetted or not?
And further, if she is was as ill-prepared as some McCain staffers are saying, then it would suggest that she was never properly vetted -- something that was angrily taken off the table for discussion by the McCain team six weeks ago.
But they can't have it both ways. Either she was properly vetted or not. If she was properly vetted, then they knew what they were getting into. If she was not properly vetted, then they can only blame themselves for the selection.
This morning's New York Times article would suggest the vetting was not as thorough as the McCain team had implied.
The following night, after McCain’s speech brought the convention to a close, one of the campaign’s senior advisers stayed up late at the Hilton bar savoring the triumphant narrative arc. I asked him a rather basic question: “Leaving aside her actual experience, do you know how informed Governor Palin is about the issues of the day?”The senior adviser thought for a moment. Then he looked up from his beer. “No,” he said quietly. “I don’t know.”
She would have done fine
Even if she wasn't up to speed on the issues, many believe she would have been fine without the handling overkill by the McCain staff.
Had she been able to interact with the media as she innately knows how to things would have been different. At least Fred Barnes believes that.
"But [campaign advisers] simply didn't trust her to perform adequately in those settings. She would need weeks of intense training and study. They were wrong, and at Palin's expense. But they simply didn't trust her to perform adequately in those settings."
As far as the media now go, she may be the most accessible candidate of the four. And controversy continues to follow her. Every time the McCain team tries to create traction, another controversy emerges.
The $150,000 clothing tab is the latest misadventure to hit the campaign. Speaking to Politico, an unknown supporter assigns blame to the campaign.
"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."
Regardless, she wasn't afraid to bring it up this morning at a rally in Tampa. In fact, she seemed to revel in it.