How could I resist! The Vanity Fair article detailing the train wreck that was the Vice Presidential candidacy of Sarah Palin has triggered some rather heated exchanges amongst the operational wing of the McCain camp and the neo-cons who were along for the ride. Bill Kristol got it all started with an attack on Steve Schmidt, who was the McCain campaign guru, essentially accusing him of being a source for the Vanity Fair piece. From Politico:
Kristol cited a passage in Purdum’s piece in which “some top aides” were said to worry about the Alaska governor’s “mental state” and the prospect that the Alaska governor may be suffering from post-partum depression following the birth of her son Trig. “In fact, one aide who raised this possibility in the course of trashing Palin’s mental state to others in the McCain-Palin campaign was Steve Schmidt,” Kristol wrote.
Whoa there Bill. Schmidt fired back a hard one, invoking Kristol’s expert handling of former VP Dan Quayle. Can you spell potato(e)?
“I’m sure John McCain would be president today if only Bill Kristol had been in charge of the campaign.”
“After all, his management of [former Vice President] Dan Quayle’s public image as his chief of staff is still something that takes your breath away,” Schmidt continued. “His attack on me is categorically false.”
And Kristol ally and neo-con stalwart Randy Scheunemann (who we wrote about after Pat Buchanan exposed his ties to foreign governments) piled on Schmidt as well.
“Steve Schmidt has a congenital aversion to the truth,” Scheunemann said. “On two separate and distinct occasions, he speculated about about Governor Palin having post-partum depression, and on the second he threatened that if more negative publicity about the handling of Governor Palin emerged that he would leak his speculation [about post-partum depression] to the press. It was like meeting Tony Soprano.”
The Politico article is a great read, and has brought to light extreme bitterness by Bill Kristol over Schmidt’s firing of Scheunemann, who allegedly leaked to Kristol himself. Schmidt is a first rate political operative, and I thought that before he attacked Kristol. And Sarah, as I have said before, is the gift that keeps on giving.
Read the Politico story here.
Bill Kristol’s Blog at the Weekly Standard is here.
Read the Vanity Fair Article here.