The McCain Mutiny

(h/t David)

The rats are jumping from the ship, and the biggest rat of them all, Karl "I should be in jail" Rove, sits down with Chris Wallace to admit that indicators are not good for the McCain campaign:

WALLACE: One thing that we are witnessing already is dissension within the ranks of the McCain campaign. There's a big article today in the New York Times Sunday Magazine about it. There have been a bunch of other reports. People pointing fingers at each other about what went wrong with the McCain campaign even before we get to the election. Why do you think that this has started so early and so publicly?

ROVE: Well, look, we've seen this a couple of times this year. We saw it in the Clinton campaign. Now we're seeing it in the McCain campaign, where before the election is totaled up, before the votes are all cast, before the decision is made, people start pointing fingers and blaming each other. It is a sign of undisciplined people who do not have the loyalty that they ought to have to the candidate whom they're serving and it's -- it's a sad sight to see. Nobody makes themselves look good by this process.

WALLACE: It is not generally a phenomenon we see in winning campaigns, however, is it?

ROVE: Occasionally you see it. You're right, it's in campaigns that are behind and people want to make certain they escape with the best reputation they can.

Frankly, considering how many of them came from Rove's coterie, I think that ship has sailed. Rove also acknowledges the fact that even Sarah Palin has gone "rogue" with a non-answer answer that points to the end of John McCain's presidential aspirations:

WALLACE: Let me ask you about another aspect of this, because there are growing reports about dissension with regard to Sarah Palin. That supposedly she has turned on some of the McCain advisers who were assigned to her campaign. That they did a very bad job rolling her out. They conversely are saying that she’s a diva and she has gone – I love these expressions—gone rogue, which means she’s not following the McCain talking points what do you know about that and what do you make about this fight between the McCain camp and the Palin camp?

ROVE: Yeah, look this is a storyline the media likes. I do know this, talking to some people inside the McCain campaign who are working with Palin. They have enormous respect for her abilities and I think may be a little be overblown, but look, again, as you say not the kind of thing you’d like to have happening in your campaign and it’s generally a sign that people are throwing in the towel and thinking they’re going to lose. On the other hand, we got two people inside the McCain campaign who I know are not throwing in the towel. One of them is the presidential candidate, John McCain and the other is the vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. Both of them are energetically out there on the campaign trail and this is what is really going to matter in the last ten days, not what staffers are trying to cover themselves with as we get into the final ten days.

Full transcripts:

WALLACE: One thing that we are witnessing already is dissension within the ranks of the McCain campaign. There's a big article today in the New York Times Sunday Magazine about it. There have been a bunch of other reports. People pointing fingers at each other about what went wrong with the McCain campaign even before we get to the election. Why do you think that this has started so early and so publicly?

ROVE Well, look, we've seen this a couple of times this year. We saw it in the Clinton campaign. Now we're seeing it in the McCain campaign, where before the election is totaled up, before the votes are all cast, before the decision is made, people start pointing fingers and blaming each other. It is a sign of undisciplined people who do not have the loyalty that they ought to have to the candidate whom they're serving and it's -- it's a sad sight to see. Nobody makes themselves look good by this process.

WALLACE: It is not generally a phenomenon we see in winning campaigns, however, is it?

ROVE: Occasionally you see it. You're right, it's in campaigns that are behind and people want to make certain they escape with the best reputation they can. Let me say—and this is a point of personal privilege—I was particularly amazed by the attacks this morning in the New York Times on Steve Schmidt. You can blame the campaign for doing good things and bad things, but when Steve Schmidt began to assume more control over the campaign in June, was when the campaign began to get up on its legs and get into the fray and you know, the tactics that he led them, got them to you know, a slight lead at the time of the convention and a clear lead by the time of the economic meltdown. And I was appalled by the sort of the personal attacks on him. You never like to see this but you particularly don’t like to see this 10 days before an election.

WALLACE: Let me ask you about another aspect of this, because there are growing reports about dissension with regard to Sarah Palin. That supposedly she has turned on some of the McCain advisers who were assigned to her campaign. That they did a very bad job rolling her out. They conversely are saying that she’s a diva and she has gone – I love these expressions—gone rogue, which means she’s not following the McCain talking points what do you know about that and what do you make about this fight between the McCain camp and the Palin camp?

ROVE: Yeah, look this is a storyline the media likes. I do know this, talking to some people inside the McCain campaign who are working with Palin. They have enormous respect for her abilities and I think may be a little be overblown, but look, again, as you say not the kind of thing you’d like to have happening in your campaign and it’s generally a sign that people are throwing in the towel and thinking they’re going to lose. On the other hand, we got two people inside the McCain campaign who I know are not throwing in the towel. One of them is the presidential candidate, John McCain and the other is the vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. Both of them are energetically out there on the campaign trail and this is what is really going to matter in the last ten days, not what staffers are trying to cover themselves with as we get into the final ten days.

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