McCain Campaign Soaked by Stories of Palin Strife

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Not awkward at all.
Not awkward at all. Photo: Getty Images

Last Thursday we sensed some strife in the wind, buoyed by stories of $150,000 wardrobes and "lack of chemistry." Get ready, we said, because as the McCain campaign begins to stumble toward the finish line, you're going to start reading all sorts of stories about how John McCain and Sarah Palin are seriously butting heads. The very next day, the reports started hitting newsstands and the Internet, resulting in a weekend devoted to documenting every little bit of gristle in the tough, maverick-y meat of the Republican ticket. Turns out Palin is reportedly chafing against the former Bush aides tasked to manage her, and has added a constitutional amendment against gay marriage and campaign "robocalls" to the list of topics on which she publicly disagrees with McCain. Here are some of the best bits:

• "There's a faction within the McCain campaign has begun to whisper about Gov. Sarah Palin to reporters. The faction includes staff members and advisers who consult with staff members. It does not seem to include any members of the senior staff, although the definition of the senior staff here is a bit elastic. This faction has come to believe that Palin, perhaps unwittingly, subconsciously or otherwise, has begun to play Sen. McCain off of the base, consistently and deliberately departed from the campaign's message of the day in ways that damage McCain." [Atlantic]

• "'She's lost confidence in most of the people on the plane,' said a senior Republican who speaks to Palin, referring to her campaign jet. He said Palin had begun to 'go rogue' in some of her public pronouncements and decisions. 'I think she'd like to go more rogue,' he said … 'These people are going to try and shred her after the campaign to divert blame from themselves,' a McCain insider said, referring to McCain's chief strategist, Steve Schmidt, and to Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush aide who has taken a lead role in Palin's campaign. Palin's partisans blame Wallace, in particular, for Palin's avoiding of the media for days and then giving a high-stakes interview to CBS News' Katie Couric, the sometimes painful content of which the campaign allowed to be parceled out over a week." [Politico]

• "Things have gotten so tense between Palin and her traveling staff, an insider said, that she's overruling their advice — which was evident last week when she ignored GOP aides piling into waiting cars at a Colorado event and strolled over to the press corps for an impromptu talk." [NYP]

• Despite the McCain campaign's wishes, Palin made an impromptu announcement on NBC Nightly News last week that that they should release her medical records. Today it was learned that they'll do this in the next couple of days. [ABC News]

• "'She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,' said [a] McCain adviser. "She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else. 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." [CNN]

• At a Tampa rally yesterday, Palin blasted the RNC for buying her a $150,000 wardrobe, calling it "ridiculous." Unsurprisingly, these were not the remarks that were sent to her in the morning by the McCain campaign. [UPI]

Related: Coming Soon: Stories on How Sarah Palin and John McCain Hate Each Other [NYM]
Sarah Palin, 2012 [NYM]
Palin's Favorite Consignment Shop in Trouble [NYM]
Nate Silver and Jonathan Chait on Early Voting and the Latest Sarah Palin Rumor [NYM]
Six Great Underdog Movies John McCain Should Probably Watch [NYM]