Sooner or later, it had to happen.
With reporters already writing Republican John McCain’s political obituary and Democrat Barack Obama reportedly hard at work on his inaugural address, the infighting between Republican political consultants has begun to spill out into the open.
As campaign 2008 begins to take on an air of Obamable inevitability – at least as far as swing state polls and mainstream media pundits are concerned – sniping within the McCain-Palin campaign has begun to grow more public, with Palin advisors saying their candidate was “mismanaged” and McCain advisors accusing Palin of “going rogue.”
At the heart of the bickering is what many believe to the botched roll out of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as McCain’s vice presidential pick – and differences in how Palin has been “handled” by the McCain campaign since she was chosen just two months ago.
One McCain advisor told CNN that Palin was a “diva,” and that “she takes no advice from anyone.”
“She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else …” the advisor said. “Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves, as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom.”
Countering that punch was a quote given by a Palin advisor to The Politico, which accused the McCain campaign of never giving Palin a chance and subjecting her to bad advice and bad advisors, including South Carolina’s own Tucker Eskew.
“The campaign as a whole bought completely into what the Washington media said – that she’s completely inexperienced,” the Palin advisor said. “Her strategy was to be trustworthy and a team player during the convention and thereafter, but she felt completely mismanaged and mishandled and ill-advised. Recently, she’s gone from relying on McCain advisers who were assigned to her to relying on her own instincts.”
Palin is reportedly most put out with McCain advisors Nicole Wallace and Steve Schmidt, who devised the strategy of keeping her away from the press after her VP selection.
That call has been but one of several momentously-bad decisions in what we’ve already ranked as the worst presidential campaign ever, yet one which over the weekend received our very, very unenthusiastic endorsement regardless.
Clearly, though, with such a steep mountain to climb (and only a week left to climb it), the fact that we’re reading McCain versus Palin stories doesn’t bode well for a campaign that has quite literally flubbed every opportunity it has been given and failed to exploit glaring vulnerabilities in its opposition.
This was a tight race as recently as six weeks ago, and some poll suggest it still might be, but heading into the last eight days McCain and Palin’s people would be well-served to save the sniping for after Nov. 4.