Alaska’s lipstick-wearing pit-bull is a “Little Shop of Horrors.”
That’s how one longtime friend and campaign trail companion of John McCain, the vanquished 2008 GOP presidential nominee, described veep nominee Sarah Palin.
In an expansive story in the August edition of Vanity Fair, a slew of senior members of McCain’s campaign team told reporter Todd S. Purdum that they suffer a kind of survivor’s guilt following the 2008 presidential election.
“They can’t quite believe that for two frantic months last fall, caught in a Bermuda Triangle of a campaign, they worked their tails off to try to elect as vice president of the United States someone who, by mid-October, they believed for certain was nowhere near ready for the job, and might never be,” Vanity Fair reports.
During the campaign, there were reports of anonymous McCain aides describing Palin, the governor of Alaska, as a “diva” and a “whack job.”
The Vanity Fair article recounts how strained Palin’s relationship was with the McCain advisers. She maintained “only the barest level of civil discourse” with Tucker Eskew, the operative assigned to be her chief minder, the magazine reports.
She believed Steve Schmidt, McCain’s top strategist, had lied to her about conducting polling in Alaska – that was a “belief she conveyed to anyone who would listen,” the magazine reported.
As previously reported, Palin was so intent on delivering her own concession speech on Election Night that she wouldn’t accept advisers telling her that McCain had decided he would be the only one to speak. She took the issue up with McCain himself, discussing it on the walk from his hotel suite to the farewell rally.
Palin did not speak on Election Night. Only McCain addressed the crowd and the nation.
One McCain aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he “always wanted to tell myself the best-case story about her.”
“I think, as I’ve evaluated it, I think some of my worst fears…the after-election events have confirmed that her more negative aspects my have been there….”
As his voice trailed off, he said, “I saw her as a raw talent. Raw, but a talent. I hoped she could become better.”
Palin refused to comment for Vanity Fair.