Frightening New Information About Sarah Palin Emerges
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As Sarah Palin positions herself for what will undoubtedly be a long career in the national spotlight -- whether as the new messiah of social conservatives or a permanent fixture on Fox News -- damning new information about the former VP candidate is beginning to emerge.
Much of it comes from disgruntled former McCain staffers, who since Election Day have engaged in nonstop grousing and finger-pointing, most of it at Palin. Other shocking news about the VP candidate is being released by reporters who were embedded with the McCain campaign.
The new revelations, ranging from the unbelievable extent of her foreign policy ignorance, to her deeply unethical behavior on the campaign trail, are a testament to just how big a bullet Americans dodged on Election Day.
1. Palin Pulled the Trigger Early on Ayers Accusations:
One of the McCain camp's dirtiest and most desperate tricks during the campaign was to unrelentingly harp on Obama's flimsy connection to former Weatherman William Ayers. Few people bought it, and the attacks went a long way toward stripping McCain of the last of his dignity.
As it turns out, the first Ayers attack was prematurely launched by Palin without the approval of McCain's team. Newsweek reports that the McCain camp had not finalized its decision to bring up Ayers (Mark Salter was against it) when Palin blurted the accusation to a group of donors.
2. Palin Didn't Know All of the Countries in NAFTA:
According to Fox reporter Carl Cameron, Palin could not name all of the countries in NAFTA. Presumably, Palin had heard of the three countries before, since she lives in one of them and the other two aren't exactly obscure. But she was unaware that the United States, Mexico and Canada are partnered in one of the most disastrous trade agreements of the last century -- one with catastrophic consequences for those down-home, ordinary folks Palin tried so hard to win over.
3. Palin Thought Africa Is a Country, Not a Continent:
Cameron also reported this startling fact:
There was great concern in the McCain campaign that Sarah Palin lacked a degree of knowledgeability necessary to be a running mate, a vice president and a heartbeat away from the presidency. ...
We're told that she didn't understand that Africa was a continent, rather than a series -- a country just in itself.
Cameron also said that Palin "didn't accept preparation" for the infamous Katie Couric interview.
For the record, Palin has denied the accusation:
That's kind of a small, evidently bitter type of person who would anonymously charge something foolish like that, that I perhaps didn't know an answer to a question. So until I know who is talking about it, I won't have a comment on false allegations
4. The $150,000 Price Tag for Palin's Wardrobe was a Low Estimate:
Remember that $150,000 price tag that had Republicans upset and the media in a frenzy? Well, Newsweek is reporting that that estimate was a lowball:
Newsweek has also learned that Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain's top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family -- clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.
"Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus?" Yeesh, why don't you tell us what you really think? Still, it was disappointing for many hardworking Republican contributors to find out their donated dollars went to buying brand-name clothes by the boatload. So news that the early estimations were low must not brighten any moods. But fear not, Republicans, it has been reported that the RNC has dispatched a lawyer "to Alaska to inventory and retrieve the clothes still in her possession."
5. Post-Election, Palin Is Backtracking on Stevens:
Now that she is no longer vying for national office, Palin doesn't seem so eager to denounce convicted felon Ted Stevens.
When Stevens was first found guilty of seven felonies, the McCain camp, Palin included, issued very disapproving statements about Stevens' behavior and called on him to resign. Now Palin is singing a different tune.
Asked Wednesday whether she still believed that Mr. Stevens should resign, Ms. Palin was circumspect, saying only that the people of Alaska "just spoke" on the issue at the ballot box and that "they want him as their senator." She said Mr. Stevens should decide "what happens next."
Or maybe that decision should be left to someone who is not a convicted criminal?
6. McCain and Palin Didn't Talk Much:
McCain himself rarely spoke to Palin during the campaign, and aides kept him in the dark about the details of her spending on clothes because they were sure he would be offended.
Which reveals why NBC Political Director Chuck Todd described Palin and McCain as having " no chemistry" when they sat down for an interview with Brian Williams:
There was a tenseness. I couldn't see chemistry between John McCain and Sarah Palin. I felt as if we grabbed two people and said "here, sit next to each other, we are going to conduct an interview."
Hard to bring a feeling of camaraderie to a ticket when the two nominees barely talk to one another.
7. Palin "Began to Attack Staffers:"
According to the aforementioned Cameron with Fox News, Palin started having difficulties with her staff after the Couric interview:
Well, afterward Palin began to attack staffers and suggest that she was mishandled, and communicated that to a handful of people both in the McCain-Palin campaign and outside (it). ...
There are stories that say she would look at her press clippings in the morning and throw what has been described to me as "tantrums." The way I understand it, there are times when she would be so nasty and angry -- staff -- that they would virtually be reduced to tears. ... There was the throwing of paperwork and things of this nature.
8. Palin Wanted to Speak at McCain's Concession Speech:
According to Newsweek, Palin wanted in on McCain's concession speech. In possibly the only good decision made about Palin during the whole campaign, Steve Schmidt vetoed her request.
Perhaps Schmidt didn't want McCain's speech marred by contrived folksiness, desperate winking and one last pander to the conservative base. Certainly no one wanted the night to end with Palin setting the groundwork for a 2012 campaign for the White House.