All of the talk about the special Newsweek report describing the backstage events in this year's presidential campaign has focused on various revelations about Sarah Palin's astonishing lack of knowledge about global and national affairs, as well as her spending sprees.
But this passage seemed at least as significant, if not more so:
The Obama campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October, at the same time that many crowds at Palin rallies became more frenzied. Michelle Obama was shaken by the vituperative crowds and the hot rhetoric from the GOP candidates. "Why would they try to make people hate us?" Michelle asked a top campaign aide.
Tim Shipman at the Telegraph (UK) has more:
Details of the spike in threats to Mr Obama come as a report last week by security and intelligence analysts Stratfor, warned that he is a high risk target for racist gunmen. It concluded: "Two plots to assassinate Obama were broken up during the campaign season, and several more remain under investigation. We would expect federal authorities to uncover many more plots to attack the president that have been hatched by white supremacist ideologues."
Irate John McCain aides, who blame Mrs Palin for losing the election, claim Mrs Palin took it upon herself to question Mr Obama's patriotism, before the line of attack had been cleared by Mr McCain.
There was a reason, I think, that people were repelled by the ugliness that proceeded from the McCain/Palin campaign this year -- common sense, after all, should tell you where this kind of ugliness was heading. It showed up at the polls.
The problem is finding a way to put out the fuse that they lit.