The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Making the Rounds

McCain Admits Campaign Tensions Between Palin, Aides

By Garance Franke-Ruta
Former presidential candidate John McCain (R-Ariz.) acknowledged on CNN's State of the Union Sunday that tensions flared during his campaign between senior strategist Steve Schmidt and those allied with his running mate, then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

"With a high-pressure situation, there's always tensions that develop within campaigns," McCain said in a video excerpt posted online. "And there were clearly tensions between Steve Schmidt and people in the Palin camp."

Schmidt has recently become a vocal public critic of Palin, predicting that a presidential run by her in 2012 would prove "catastrophic" for the Republican Party. McCain did not criticize Palin and called her an overall asset to his campaign for whom he still has affection.

"There are fundamental facts ... that cannot be denied," McCain said. "When we selected or asked Sarah Palin to be my running mate, it energized our party. We were ahead in the polls, until the stock market crashed. And she still is a formidable force in the Republican Party."

"And I have great affection for her," he continued. "Did we always agree on everything in the past? Will we in the future? No."

Posted at 9:41 AM ET on Oct 11, 2009  | Category:  Making the Rounds
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It seemed to me the conservatives did everything they could to screw up this campaign, because it is hard to believe they were this clueless and hard headed to allow what they thought was the most left wing presidential candidate have an easy ride into the white house. I think it suited their needs. They did not like McCain in 2000 and they were not going to accept him this time either. By pressing him to choose Palin, it looked like it was because of her wacky rightwing leanings but in reality it was to cause caos and embarrassment to McCain. Since he will be too old to run in 2012, he is gone forever now. The economy also gave plenty of warning signs and its current state is still not close to recovery. By 2012, Obama will appear to be a big mistake and the public will have forgotten that the rightwing had anything to do with the bad economy. That will be when they hope to get another 'real' conservative into the oval office.

Posted by: Snoworfrets | October 14, 2009 10:33 PM

Schmidt says that Palin, if elected to the presidency, would be catastrophic for the Republican Party. Au contraire - the people who constitute the "leadership" of the Republican Party are too concerned about process and not concerned enough about results. They are without "cojones" of the sort that Palin has shown since her first days in politics. If Schmidt had run a better campaign for McCain, maybe we wouldn't have in the White House the catastrophe we have.

Posted by: pincheruco | October 12, 2009 11:31 PM

Sometimes people do the right thing for the wrong reasons. Whether it was a "gimmick" or not, or whether you want to label nominating a black man or a woman for president as such, the candidates should be scrutinized according to his or her qualifications and agenda. And, to me, I believe Palin was more qualified than Obama to be PRESIDENT. Not merely a VP. She would have been a far better choice than either Obama or McCain.

Posted by: knightoneday | October 12, 2009 7:08 PM

i was considering voting for mccain untill he got sarah palin as his running wasnt realistic that a rebublican would pick a woman from alaska as his running mate because she was a good politician, what was realistic is the GOP wanted to compete with the dems having a black man and a white woman running to make history, so they got palin as a gimmick to seem willing to break the gender/color barrier the dems were shattering with their two finalist in the race. thats wright she was a gimmick to make a old white man look like a hip choice to turn around washington. im sorry but i dont want a party willing to use gimmicks to win the top office to ever get close to power again. and to all you who still talk about his birth certificit, you really must have never had any faith in are justice dept. there is no conspiracy, trust me the gov. of texas was just president there is no way some black man from chicago is going to sneak his way in as a ilegal alian with g.w. as pres.

Posted by: arogthagriot | October 12, 2009 6:21 PM

Washington insiders feared Palin. Anyone with an IQ above that of a turnip should have been able to figure it out for themselves that the reason why the establishment-controlled media was so hard on Palin, while giving virtual free passes to Obama, was because they FEARED her.

Why did they lambast her for firing a police officer drunk on the job who abused a child? Yet they all but ignored Obama's shady real estate deals, friendships with radical bombers and terrorusts, questions about his citizenship, etc., etc.

If Obama runs against Palin next time, Palin has my vote, as well as that of most of the others in that poll who don't now approve of Obama. Many who voted for Obama are beginning to realize that they were duped. And they will not repeat that mistake next election.

Posted by: TheresaG1 | October 12, 2009 6:01 PM

Not surprising that Sarah Palin had conflicts with a RINO traitor like McCain.

Palin, unlike McCain or Obama, is a Washington OUTSIDER, who threatened to bring REAL change, not rhetorical "change."

McCain's only "mistake" in choosing Palin would have been a windfall to our country, had there been not enough GULLIBLE voters and ACORN-manufactured votes for Obama.

I voted for NEITHER Obama nor McCain, but wrote in for RON PAUL.

Although Palin would not be my choice over Paul, she still would have been a vast improvement over an illegal alien with a fake birth certificate [who refused to release his college records showing him as a foreign national].

Apparently most who did vote for Obama now wish they hadn't. For recent polls show almost a complete reversal for Obama's approval rating.

When Obama took office at the begiining of this year, he was showing an approval rating of almost two-thirds the voters. Now it is LESS THAN A THIRD.

See the latest approval figure for Obama today here:

And it was even lower than that [29 percent] the day before the news broke about Obama getting the Nobel Peace Prize ala Jimmy Carter.

With a choice last election between an illegal alien and a traitor, either would have been a bad choice for our country. Only if McCain had been elected, then died of a heart attack, would we have had a good president.

Posted by: tncdel | October 12, 2009 5:37 PM

The reason democrats hate Palin is because they fear her. If she should ever become President, she will definitely kick ass and take names - in that order. No politics, just real governance - that's Palin's promise. All of you shrieking and screeching "touchy-feely" democrat wimps are not going to stop her.

Posted by: pincheruco | October 12, 2009 5:27 PM

Sarah Palin does not need a Steve Schmidt or anyone else to "make her look" stupid. She already IS stupid! She makes that fact evident very well herself every time she opens her mouth! She is a flashy, decorated airhead who THINKS she's God's gift to the world. Too bad there are times she has to open her mouth. Men are entranced, and low intellect women admire her like a Barbie Doll! Unfortunately, the presidency can't settle for looks alone, and that's all she has!

Posted by: Maerzie | October 12, 2009 4:53 PM

Steve Schmidt is not a Dem operative. He was the Bush campaign chief. I used to like McCain when he was so unpredictable and would oppose GOP policies. He was a maveric then. When he started to get ahead in the primaries he sold out and hired Schmidt et al and tried to be elected using the Bush strategies. When he rolled out Palin I assumed she was a credible politician. When they kept trying to hide the circus that surrounds her it became clear she was not qualified to be a VP to an old man. She was a petty vindictive, small town nut case who happened to get elected governor. When Dems are accused of being afraid of her, the reasons are not looked at. It is just a taunt. I am for one terrified that a woman who can't talk without embarrassing herself and us could possibly run the country. Look at the hell we went thru with stupid Bush and the people (Cheney) who took advantage of his cluelessness. 2 Wars later, torture was OK'd, the budget surplus was turned into a record breaking deficit, the financial system collapsed etc. This was with people running the country who we thought had experience and judgment. Palin would fire everyone and hire her high school buddies. She is so out of her league running for public office that it drives me nuts. I agree with Schmidt that if she was the nominee for Pres in 2012 it would be a blowout. The Dems would get 400 electoral votes. She is like a sparkly bomb. People like to look at her and then she blows up.

Posted by: Marmashi | October 12, 2009 3:52 PM

Sarah Palin had the misfortune of having to deal with a moron in a position of power, namely, Steve Schmidt. His goal as an operative of the Democratic Party was to make her look stupid. McCain was bound to lose the election with this nutcase as his primary adviser. Now that Governor Palin is a free agent, it may prove very difficult for the Democrats to escape her wrath. These fools know that have much to fear, and they will find it very problematic to set up another "fixed" interview with CBS.

Posted by: jerdjon | October 11, 2009 5:53 PM

Beg to differ with you on a couple of points:
1. Schmidt's job was NOT to make her look stupid. She did that all by herself. And did an admirable job of it, I might add.

2. McCain was not going to lose because of his campaign manager: he was going to lose because he was the worst candidate running, 8 years of Republican BS almost destroyed our country, AND he had this idiot running with him.

3. What wrath are you talking about ? She doesn't have the authority, power, whatever term you care to use to exact any type of "wrath" on anyone, except for those trailer trash kids of hers. Do you think that maybe she'll bring all of her intellectual ability to bear in an effort to order lunch without screwing it up and going off on a tangent ?

4. Finally, we know what we have to fear from her ? Get a grip, Sparky. You dildoes keep saying how much we fear her when the truth of the matter is that we LOVE her ignorant heinie ! Keep her out there, front and center, please. All this dim bulb is capable of doing is insuring that a Dem will inhabit the White House for a long time. Palin/Bachman 2012 !!! Palin/Taitz 2012 !!! Palin and one of her trailer trash kids 2012 !! Palin/Sasquatch 2012 !!!

As for a "fixed" interview, the only way it could have been fixed in her favor would have been to cancel it at the last minute so that she didn't look like the blithering idiot that she really is. Every time she opens her mouth nothing but air and unconnected thoughts roll out. Is she really the best that your party can do ?

Posted by: dennissuper | October 12, 2009 1:16 PM

Senator McCain will never be able to say what he feels about Sarah Palin as it would be a clear indictment of his judgment. Selecting a running mate was his first major decision and he blew it! Sarah Palin was not prepared to be vice-president since that would infer she would be prepared to be president which was clearly not the case. This isn't grade school, folks! Just because someone is saucy and cute doesn't mean they have the brains and competence.

Posted by: carolsbarber | October 12, 2009 12:08 PM

It's comical that frustrated democrats try to deflect attention from Obama's incompetence by their attempts, on a daily basis, to denigrate Sarah Palin, even though she doesn't currently hold political office.

She is the lone conservative who, without even saying a word, can cause democrats to throw a collective sissy fit because they know that she can expose and trounce their incompetent empty suit and his gang of misfits.

If she doesn’t have any ability to effectively decimate them, why are they so preoccupied with criticizing her?

Would a number one ranked professional team even bother to focus its attention on an individual or team that they believe plays in an amateur league?

Yes, it is obvious that Sarah Palin can force democrats into a profuse fearful sweat by merely winking at them!

Sarah Palin is currently training the rabid pack of democrat attack dogs to jump through hoops.

Next lesson - to sit quietly and then beg (whimpering will be permitted).

Final lesson - to grab their favourite toy (the stuffed Barack Obama doll), tuck their tails between their legs, lie down, and quietly go to sleep!

Posted by: Davole | October 12, 2009 10:57 AM

The best thing about Palin: She and her clones (Bachmann, etc) could cost the GOP presidential elections for years to come. It's hard to see the GOP nominating anyone but a hard-rightwingnut for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 12, 2009 9:55 AM

Anybody would have been better than the Muslim lover we have as our President who is more concerned about his own image than America. It won't be long before the country will wish they had McCain and Palin than the egotistical hair brains that we have in Washington now.

Posted by: vangup | October 12, 2009 9:52 AM

I am never amazed at the lack of civility when people post comments. I wonder if they realize it's quite an unflattering reflection unto themselves. I never really enjoyed Palin. Although, she energized the base I frankly feel she was only chosen because of her sex. The McCainiacs thought they could entice the Clinton supporters. I know of a few, but not enough to take too much notice. I have a feeling it didn't matter who the GOP or McCain picked, it was time for a Dem takeover. Now, it's interesting to see how they are failing to take advantage.

Posted by: bdarin2002 | October 12, 2009 9:22 AM

Sarah Palin was a godsend. When McCain inexplicably selected her, it was God's way of saying, "vote for Obama." God really does work in mysterious ways.

Posted by: rhideokim1 | October 11, 2009 9:41 PM

Palin is the perfect republican. Like little Bush or Nixon, Cheaney, and Agnew, she will use her "power" to attempt revenge on any who have "wronged" her. God help us all if she decides to war with Putin rather than Hussein for we will ALL pay for the republican ignorance that selects her and I wonder if we will be able to apologise as the bright flash on the horizon preceeds our imminent irradiation?

Posted by: anOPINIONATEDsob | October 11, 2009 8:40 PM

I was ready to vote for McCain because he was the more moderate, independent thinking candidate. But I had to switch my mind when he picked Palin. There was no way I would want her one step away from the presidency... we were trying to get away from the incompetent, neocon loonies running our government. Someone here said it was a hail mary pass, but I don't think he needed a hail mary... instead he fumbled the ball!

Posted by: mjalee | October 11, 2009 6:46 PM

If anyone was ever more eminently qualified to deal with a "moron" than Ms. Palin, I'd like to know who it was. Moron vs Moron seems fair to me, although she probably had an edge, By Golly!!

Posted by: Paradox10 | October 11, 2009 6:32 PM

Palin is a broken down, illiterate drama queen. I can imagine her in the oval office eating Taco Bell for dinner and watching "Everyone Loves Raymond" between cabinet meetings.

Posted by: Icanseerussia | October 11, 2009 6:29 PM

WHO CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just a bunch of tired same old cr@p...Let's move on...

Posted by: NativeSonofTexas | October 11, 2009 6:27 PM

Sarah Palin had the misfortune of having to deal with a moron in a position of power, namely, Steve Schmidt. His goal as an operative of the Democratic Party was to make her look stupid. McCain was bound to lose the election with this nutcase as his primary adviser. Now that Governor Palin is a free agent, it may prove very difficult for the Democrats to escape her wrath. These fools know that have much to fear, and they will find it very problematic to set up another "fixed" interview with CBS.

Posted by: jerdjon | October 11, 2009 5:53 PM

Palin will drag the GOP into a black hole all by herself. Her followers are rednecks, trailer trash, old hags, and school dropouts.

Posted by: sunliteco | October 11, 2009 5:51 PM

George Bush cost the Red Baron the Presidential Election ... Palin was one of the stooges who added color to the Red Barons free fall. Bush turned the Republican party into "Monkey Land" at the Zoo ... They still can't get out of their cage.

Posted by: wasaUFO | October 11, 2009 5:41 PM

I always liked McCain till he found that idiot from Alaska. The Red Baron committed political suicide with her as his running mate. Wonder where she's a political force ? What country ?

Posted by: wasaUFO | October 11, 2009 5:34 PM

To suggest the economy is the sole reason McCain was defeated is to completely ignore key facts in the timeline. It is absolutely true Palin initially energized the republican party. However nobody knew who she was on the national stage. The McCain camp kept her quiet for a couple weeks. And as she started to speak publicly things started going downhill. Now it is true this was during the exact time the economy was going south. But I strongly believe were she more articulate the economy alone might not have sank the campaign. The media was doing what the media should do. Find out who this person is. Give this person a chance to get their message out. She didn't deliver. I totally agree if she runs in 2012 it won't do the republican party any favors.

Posted by: fortheclueless | October 11, 2009 4:39 PM

We have to keep Palin around. She is always good for a giggle or two. Plus she is getting rich by selling books to fools.

Posted by: Jimdandy2 | October 11, 2009 4:08 PM

Palin is an idiot and has demonstrated her idiocy time and time again for the whole world to see. The woman quit her job as Governor of Alaska. LOL.

I hope she does run in 2012. Her ego consistently overestimates her actual talent and ability. This is a manifestation of her deep narcissism. She is a delusional fruit cake. So yeah....go ahead and wast money and run in 2012! Obama will crush her.

Posted by: vintel7 | October 11, 2009 3:44 PM

I cannot remember any politician being
attacked as was Mrs. Palin. I do not agree with many of her stances, but at least I know exactly where she stands on many issues. How many pols can you say you know where they stand. Most always looking for wiggle room. As for Sen. McCain, if nothing else, he is an honorable man. Again, more then I can say about most pols.

Posted by: ronfernandez | October 11, 2009 3:36 PM

Picking Palin was a hail mary pass for McCain and the media pounced on her like dog meat. Once they did that the election was in the bag. McCain might have had better luck with the governor of Louisiana.

Palin took on the role of a female pit bull and the media did their imitation of Michael Vick - but she fought back and survived - just barely.

Since she quit her job as governor, she has resumed her old role but hasn't scored any good bites. All she is doing is raising the fear level of the nation.

Posted by: alance | October 11, 2009 3:22 PM

You would have thought the "Old Fart" would have found out Palin was clueless before he chose his Vice Presidential running mate!

And then he went on to blame the President for bringing talented people in to his administration.

Simply put! Maybe McCain doesn't make very good decisions.

I think we picked the right guy!

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | October 11, 2009 3:15 PM

This is just like waiting in line for the school nurse to give you your shots - you know it's gonna hurt, but the waiting is more agonizing. You want to just get it over with or run away.

Okay, so is there any question that Mrs. Palin is staging herself for national politics - a run for the presidency or the senate? No. We ALL know that this is her personal goal; she has said so. Even though she's now an author, she's financially motivated.
1. She can't keep a political action committee (PAC) if she isn't a politician.
2. She can't accept donations if she isn't a charity/politician.

She has no job skills in the middle-class, 40 hour work-week job market. Mean bosses suck and it's hard to get time off to take your kid to the doctor. Right, Little People of REAL America?

Can we just get that out of the way and move on. Mmm-hmm, thank you, Mr. McCain.

Posted by: khione1 | October 11, 2009 2:30 PM

Sarah Palin, a Rupert Murdock's Faux News/GOP TV favorite is getting wingnut welfare with her (ghostwritten) book.

Her publisher, HarperCollins is a wholly owned Rupert Murdock company, you 'betcha.

Posted by: republican_disaster | October 11, 2009 2:23 PM

Palin was a complete nut-job, IOW, the perfect running mate for John McCain.

She was but a symptom, not the disease destroying the GOP.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | October 11, 2009 2:05 PM

Dotty is apply named. Anyone who voted for McCain or Obama isn't merely wrong, but E V I L. Hoah, boy. Can I have a little of that hooch you're drinking?


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 11, 2009 2:04 PM

McCain is a loser...
The ONLY appropriate thing for him to do IS get out of the way of Sarah Palin...

Posted by: Archarito | October 11, 2009 2:03 PM

some of those comments criticizing gov. palin, make me sick of my stomach! hi, american people! this whole world are watching you.

palin is not qualified to be vp, that's for sure, so she lost it. ok? if you are still not satisfied with this outcome, go get her, kill her, is that ok? no!

no one is born-to-be president. president obama is just a little bit more experienced or better than sen. macain. so you choosed him, but that doesn't mean he is and will be the unique best one to be president.

my advice is that, if you don't want to live with gov. palin in the same country, welcome to china.

Posted by: chaujohnthan | October 11, 2009 2:02 PM

Palin was not the reason Mc Cain lost.
No one in the primaries voted for him but those evil enough to try to breach the rules of the US Constitution.
They wouldn't let Palin talk, because she was willing to point that out.

The Corruption is why the people have quit the 2 standing parties and moved voter registration to the Independent Party for a round.

The worst accolade for any "potential Representative of your will" today, is incumbenet, power torch pass, or big war chest.

Posted by: dottydo | October 11, 2009 1:56 PM

Mc Cain was a non qualified rule breaker of the US Constitution, that Soros apparently ran against the same.

John should have said "NO THANKS, but I don't meet criteria named in the rules of the documnt a lot of my peers died defending".

John could have been a hero instead of a squirm worm.

We would have had a better choice to vote for if he had that integrity.


Posted by: dottydo | October 11, 2009 1:47 PM

I nominate Cheney for the PNAC War Prize.

Posted by: mongolovesheriff | October 11, 2009 1:18 PM

ibyte78, you are mostly correct. The person labelled as an idiot below is definitely not an idiot. He is however a prevaricating hatemonger. Is that more respectful?

Posted by: justmike | October 11, 2009 1:06 PM

As an independent voter, I liked McCain and was considering voting for him.... UNTIL he picked Palin. The fact that he could pick such a STUNNINGLY UNQUALIFIED person to be a heart beat away from the presidency showed absolute disregard for the well-being of our country. When one considers his age (as he should have) it's even more irresponsible.

McCain has thus lost any respect he had with me. The fact that he still can't acknowledge what was an obvious major error in his judgment is more evidence that his qualifications are suspect.

Posted by: mb56 | October 11, 2009 12:50 PM

I am so discouraged by language like "___ ou are an idiot ... Moron." We have lost the ability to disagree without vitreol and ill will. I will be right sometimes and I will be wrong sometimes and neither entitles me to lesser or greater respect -- my being human is the only thing important and all humans must be treated with respect regarless of how much one may disagree with an opinion.

Posted by: ibyte78 | October 11, 2009 12:41 PM

McCain is a mentally ill war monger and chose an idiot for a running mate.Palin is the most unqualified person to ever run for national office,if you doubt that look at a rerun of the Katie Curic or Charlie Gipson interviews and watch her non answers to some simple questions.

Posted by: LDTRPT25 | October 11, 2009 12:34 PM

The republican brand is so damaged and in so much disarray they may actually nominate Palin in 2012. They are incredibly blind to her faults and are more than willing to put her up against Obama. It's really sad to see how the party has degenerated in the last 15 years.

Posted by: blarsen1 | October 11, 2009 12:32 PM

I have to agree wit everyone else and say charlituna6661 is an idiot. You do realize she quit her post as governor to make money, easy money I should say. She finds a way to blame everybody except where the blame belongs and that's with herself.

Posted by: whatdyousay | October 11, 2009 12:28 PM

McCain's endorsement of Palin tells you what you need to know about his qualification to be president.

Personally, I'm rooting for a Palin/Bachmann GOP ticket in 2012.

Posted by: geezjan | October 11, 2009 11:51 AM

Please. Please, please please please. The only way a Palin/Bachmann could be funnier is if they bring in Michael Brown to reassume command of FEMA.

Posted by: dfc102 | October 11, 2009 12:23 PM

That's what I have said all along. Charlietuna6661 is an Idiot! Thinking Trailer Trash Palin is qualified is a joke.
She is qualified to be a quitter!

Posted by: Classic60 | October 11, 2009 12:15 PM

charlietuna6661 ou are an idiot. Palin isnt qualified to be President and the remained of her term as gov..oh wait there wont be a remainder as she quit!! She couldnt take the pressure of being Gov and you think she can be President? Moron

Posted by: will585 | October 11, 2009 12:04 PM

McCain's endorsement of Palin tells you what you need to know about his qualification to be president.

Personally, I'm rooting for a Palin/Bachmann GOP ticket in 2012.

Posted by: geezjan | October 11, 2009 11:51 AM

McCain gave a very thoughtful, diplomatic answer.

Posted by: peterroach | October 11, 2009 11:06 AM

The selection of Ms. Palin was an embarrassment to McCain and his background..That said, it may also cast a shadow on his judgment or the judgment of those who lobbied to select her to the 2nd most powerful office in the United States.

Frankly and without political affiliations of any strength, I and others are glad we have a 'smart" guy in the Whitehouse..After was a tragic timeline in our nation's history

Posted by: LTC-11A | October 11, 2009 10:47 AM


Posted by: usapdx | October 11, 2009 10:34 AM

Sarah Palin is more qualified to run the USA than the current empty suit in the white house. Obozo has never run anything except maybe some dope down to the corner for his homeys. This election was stolen by ACORN and their illegal voter registration. Any republican will win the next presidential election because obozo and the democrat socialist party will have run the country so far down, there will be no other choice.

Posted by: charlietuna6661 | October 11, 2009 10:23 AM

Face it, Palin cost him the election in part that because of his age we could not trust her to lead this country.

Hopefully we will have real candidates in this election running on the platform of term limits, Americans's first and law enforcement!

Posted by: meadmkr | October 11, 2009 10:12 AM

... no really who cares?

Posted by: whocares666 | October 11, 2009 9:56 AM

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