Even as John McCain and Sarah Palin scramble to close the gap in the final days of the 2008 election, stirrings of a Palin insurgency are complicating the campaign's already-tense internal dynamics.
Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image — even as others in McCain's camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain's decline.
This should be interesting. Many of Palin's fan-boys like us to think that the biggest problem is that she's been over-coached, which threw her of off her game, and if only McCain would let her off of the leash, she would work her magic over the American electorate. I don't buy it... it's clear she is indeed over-coached, but I doubt this little leaguer can make it in the big leagues anyway. McCain's strategy of keeping her under raps has probably averted a larger catastrophe for the campaign. Looks like Palin's already doing as she pleases.
Ensuring that news of the Republican National Committee's sartorial spending spree will remain in the headlines for at least one more news cycle, Sarah Palin on Sunday sounded off on the $150,000 wardrobe that was purchased for her in September, denouncing the report as "ridiculous" and declaring emphatically: "Those clothes, they are not my property."
A senior adviser to John McCain told CNN's Dana Bash that the comments about her wardrobe "were not the remarks we sent to her plane this morning." Palin did not discuss the wardrobe story at her rally in Kissimmee later in the day.
Bad move... why talk more about an issue like that? it doesn't play to your advantage. Hold on for the next week, things are about to get dicey.
There's a debate at the New Republic between John Chait and Noam Schreiber over whether Sarah Palin will be the nominee in 2012. I think the answer is clearly no. Palin will leave the national stage a widely mocked and unpopular figure, rather like Dan Quayle (if you recall, I made the initial comparison... I stand by that). When the exit polls for this election come out, they'll show that Palin was just as much a drag on McCain as Bush was, and the Republican base will get the message. However much the wing-nuts can't escape their crush on that woman, they'll have to concede that she's unelectable. Good riddance.