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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

McCain campaign aides SLAM Palin over shopping spree

Check out this hardcore "the morning after the election" character slam against Palin's "shopping spree." (Halfway down the page.)
"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."


Also this bit, she wanted her own concession speech.
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. Palin asked to speak along with McCain at his Arizona concession speech Tuesday night, but campaign strategist Steve Schmidt vetoed the request.


McCain aides are dumping all this into the Newsweek campaign history to very intentionally damage her and cast Palin as a "diva." (Not that there are any hard feelings. Did they leak this with an embargo, or did they wake up this morning and decide to trash her while they were still on the stage.)

And, FirstRead quotes a little polling saying that only 18% of the GOP want Palin as the 2012 nominee. (A distant third.)

I know this is the Dems' day, but the civil war has begun.

6 Comments:

  • Is that 18% of self identified Republican Americans, or 18% of GOP party insiders and politicians? It's not clear. 'Cause GOP voter polling seemed to show enthusiasm for Palin.

    I can't shake the thought that there's a real natural affinity between the traditional conservative Republican and the Blue Dog dems. Seems like there could be some potential there for the traditional conservatives to leverage a retaking of the GOP. I dunno.

    -------

    Funniest comment I've read.... Over at DKos, Bill in Portland Maine has a list of "Things to listen for in the near future:" He ends the list with...

    "You're watching Alaska Cable Access Channel 2. Welcome to 'Hockey Talk' with your host, Sarah Palin..."

    It's a really good mix of funny and serious.

    By Blogger -epm, at 11:23 AM  

  • epm wrote:
    I can't shake the thought that there's a real natural affinity between the traditional conservative Republican and the Blue Dog dems. Seems like there could be some potential there for the traditional conservatives to leverage a retaking of the GOP. I dunno.

    I think the Blue Dogs are going to become what the GOP was in terms of fiscal conservatism, which means a civil war for the Democrats.

    The Republicans will most likely go with the Religious Right, and into irrelevance. They are a profoundly deluded and damaged Party that is completely without the capacity for self-reflection.

    I think we have seen a microcosm of that path here in Minnesota in the past few hours. Coleman and Paulsen have sounded very moderate and bi-partisan, while Bachmann (the religious nut) has gone on the offensive. A saner politician would see a three-point victory as a warning. The fundamentalists tend to see that kind of thing as a license to go even farther to the extreme and "win back" all of those imaginary people who felt they didn't go far enough.

    What we also have to consider is that the Republicans have lost their media dominance. To a large extent, the media had to fluff up the Party in power to get access and avoid friction. The myth of the frightening, reliable, and powerful Republican base and Machine just ended. The Republicans will have to prove their relevance to the media and punditry. They have talked a big game about Obama being dangerous, unpatriotic, socialist, and suspect - an "Us vs. Them" narrative that is very difficult to climb down from. Thus, they will be looking to pick a fight ASAP, over some issue with little more than symbolic importance, to prove that they are still "a force to be reckoned with". It will be that fight that largely determines the outcome of the Republican civil war.

    Since there isn't a big mandate for Obama to move to the Left, and since it's unlikely he will be willing to spend large amounts of political capital on symbolic issues, the Republicans will very likely mount an attack on "social values" - similar to the early Clinton Administration being forced to deal with "gays in the military" right out of the gate.

    This will serve to bolster the fundamentalist, social conservative wing as the standard-bearers for the Party and bringing Palin into prominence.

    By Blogger Todd Dugdale, at 12:42 PM  

  • Todd wrote:
    "They are a profoundly deluded and damaged Party that is completely without the capacity for self-reflection."

    I think this sums up the core defect of the Republican party today. Already today there's so much finger pointing going on you have to protect your eyes from being poked out. Volumes of twisted logic being expended to "prove" it's someone else's fault you lost and how the country is still behind you on everything.

    "...the Republicans will very likely mount an attack on "social values" -..."

    You may be right. But to use an already overused metaphor, Obama is playing political chess and these clowns are playing checkers. There's a Zen quality to Obama's politics whereby his opponents often end up impaling themselves on their own political weapons...

    So you may well be right about the Right. But even if Obama ain't Superman, he didn't just fall off the turnip truck either. Make no mistake... He's a politician. But a smart new kind of politician.

    By Blogger -epm, at 1:18 PM  

  • EPM, to your first comment, certainly the "blue dogs" would be the most likely GOP targets because they're the most moderate/centrist/rightist/whatever of the Dems, and they are that way because that's how they're districts lean. So, yeah. I don't think they take any directly through party conversions, but those are the districts most likely to flip back.

    ......

    Todd, We'll have to wait and see how the Dem coalition shakes out. I'm not convinced there will be some sort of moderate/liberal civil war simply because of the size of the advantage. For instance, if some pro-life Dems wanted to vote against some health measure or Supreme Court nominee or whatever, their votes could be spared, assuming the House leadership maintains control of it all.

    Also, regarding the media, I take a somewhat different view. The Republicans may lose some ground in the neutral media, but I think FoxNews might be about to enter a better period. It's alot easier for them to oppose than to support this President, and, depending on how things play out, they could do very well. (Think Rush Limbaugh who really blew up simply in opposition to Clinton.)

    And, I don't think there's any consensus on the right what they should do, so I don't know what to expect in three months.

    ....

    And, EPM, I would equate the Repubs right now as a boxer who just got popped and isn't quite sure where he is. Usually, that means a return to what they're comfortable with, and alot more openings because they're not as sharp as they should be.

    Just gotta wait. Groundwork is being laid, but we're still many months away.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 1:36 PM  

  • I ask for unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks.

    I don't think the Blue Dogs will be "likely targets" of the Republicans. I think they will replace the Republicans, as the Party moves off into theocracy. It's very likely that Obama can keep the BDs happy enough, but tough choices will have to be made. It's often wiser to spend now in order to avoid spending more in the future, for example.

    Also, regarding the media, I take a somewhat different view. The Republicans may lose some ground in the neutral media, but I think FoxNews might be about to enter a better period.

    The point I was making is that the loss of "neutral media" dominance will push them into making a rash move, such as a "social values" attack. FNC will only serve to goad them into this.
    As an aside, I disagree about FNC's potential benefit from this election. They have always presented themselves as the voice of those in power - the important people who matter - and the Democrats as upstarts and silly wannabes. Republicans despise the underdog. That's why FNC will militate for a "show of force". It's a matter of survival and continued relevance for them.

    Obama is playing political chess and these clowns are playing checkers. There's a Zen quality to Obama's politics whereby his opponents often end up impaling themselves on their own political weapons...

    I'm not saying at all that the Republicans can prevail in the "insurgency" I propose. I am simply saying it is inevitable, and that the way it plays out will determine which faction is the ascendant one in the Party's internal struggle.

    The "social values" attack will have to be on an issue that Obama has complete control over, such as the military in Clinton's case. Something like "gay marriage" won't do, because he can say that is Congress' domain.
    It could be "proselytising in the military", the questionable moral values of a Cabinet appointee, or the prosecution of a federal hate crimes case, or a civil rights case involving Muslims.

    It will be played be the Republicans in a ham-fisted manner, no doubt. The goal is merely to produce a "perceived victory" of sorts to show that they are still "a force to be reckoned with".

    By Blogger Todd Dugdale, at 2:23 PM  

  • I'm reading and writing pretty quick and loose today, so if I missed your point, sorry.

    So, you're a believer in the new southern Republican rump party with the hybrid blue dog Dems taking over the middle. I just see those Blue dogs as the first likely casualties when the Repubs come back, whenever that will be.

    ....

    As for Fox, I've wondered about that. A friend of mine often talks about the way Fox/Murdoch have laid down with dictators around the world giving them friendly coverage in exchange for concessions.

    The only problem is, they would have to either jettison their audience or try to drag them along.

    Frankly, MSNBC may be in a little more trouble.

    ....

    As for the GOP going forward, a lot of it has to do with who wins. My money is kinda on Gingrich right now, assuming he hooks up with somebody like a Jindal or Pawlenty as his new young face.

    I think he's too smart to hitch up with Palin.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 2:46 PM  

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