In what reads like payback for McCain aides’ disparaging comments about her in the wake of the ticket’s loss to Barack Obama, Ms. Palin depicts the McCain campaign as overscripted, defeatist, disorganized and dunder-headed — slow to shift focus from the Iraq war to the cratering economy, insufficiently tough on Mr. Obama and contradictory in its media strategy. She also claims that the campaign billed her nearly $50,000 for “having been vetted.” The vetting, which was widely criticized in the press as being cursory and rushed, was, she insists, “thorough”: they knew “exactly what they’re getting.”
Some of Ms. Palin’s loudest complaints in this volume are directed at the McCain campaign’s chief strategist, Steve Schmidt. Mr. Schmidt, ironically enough, was one of the aides to most forcefully make the case for putting her on the ticket in the first place, arguing to his boss, as Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson reported in their recent book “The Battle for America,” that she would shake up the race and help him get his “reform mojo back.” Robert Draper reported in The New York Times Magazine that neither Mr. Schmidt nor Mr. McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, apparently saw Ms. Palin’s “lack of familiarity with major national or international issues as a serious liability,” and that Mr. McCain, a former Navy pilot, saw the idea of upending the chessboard as a maverick kind of move.
All in all, Ms. Palin emerges from “Going Rogue” as an eager player in the blame game, thoroughly ungrateful toward the McCain campaign for putting her on the national stage. As for the McCain campaign, it often feels like a desperate and cynical operation, willing to make a risky Hail Mary pass in order to try to score a tactical win, instead of making a considered judgment as to who might be genuinely qualified to sit a heartbeat away from the Oval Office
I'm not sure that "going rogue" is going to endear Palin to the party elders, from whom she must receive support if she does want to pursue a national office. Unless, of course, her plan is to dump the GOP and run like the Palin-endorsed Doug Hoffmann in NY-23 as a Conservative Party member. But then again, being politically astute was never part of Palin's appeal.
Sour grapes between the Palin and McCain factions aside, Palin's book appears to be a little on the factually-light side. Our friends at Media Matters have been reading through the book (better them than me) and have compiled a very interesting list of moments where Palin has gone rogue from the truth:
And they keep coming... Check Media Matters for updates.
Max Blumenthal: Sarah Palin, the GOP's blessing and curse.
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