3:30 p.m. ET: This morning, we mentioned our craven desire to boost our ranking on Google. In furtherance of that effort, we bring you this Very Special All-Sarah Palin Edition of The Rundown.
Why, you might be wondering, should we focus on Palin when Barack Obama has been elected president, heralding a brave new world of politics, a near-certain cure for cancer and all that jazz? Because Palin remains endlessly fascinating, and because John McCain's campaign staff has taken the filter off and started leaking what they really thought of their VP candidate. Here are the highlights:
• Newsweek's massive behind-the-scenes campaign package is out, and it includes tons of choice Palin tidbits. One is the allegation that, after being told she could buy a few new suits, Palin "spent 'tens of thousands' more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband," a shopping spree described by "an angry aide" as ""Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast."
• The New York Times has its own report today on Palin-McCain divisions, noting that Palin wanted to speak before McCain's concession speech Tuesday night but was told no by Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter. The story also says McCain's camp was angry that Palin didn't prepare properly for her disastrous interview with Katie Couric and that she got duped by a Nicholas Sarkozy impersonator.
• Carl Cameron reported on Fox News Channel that Palin "didn't know what countries were in NAFTA [and] that she didn't know that Africa was a continent rather than a country in itself." For what it's worth, Palin denied the charge today and said, "That’s kind of a small, evidently bitter type of person who would anonymously charge something foolish like that."
• Palin does have her defenders within the GOP, particularly the influential conservative blog RedState, which has embarked upon the tastefully named Operation Leper. It's goal, to find all those mean McCain people "whispering smears" about Palin and "make these few people political lepers. ... Don't make us add you to our list." Creepy. (What if some of the stuff that's being leaked about Palin is, you know, true? Does it even matter?) Anyway, you can see why we can't quite bring ourselves to let Palin go back to Alaska quietly. Bring on 2012!
8 a.m. ET: There's no rest for the weary two days after an historic election, as Democrats are busy transitioning to an Obama administration and Republicans to a revamped leadership team on the Hill and -- more fractiously -- to another presidential fight for 2012.
The first order of business for the administration in waiting is staffing up, with Barack Obama offering Rahm Emanuel the chief of staff post and Emanuel, reportedly, inclined to take it. Related question: How much "adult language" will there be in this White House? Emanuel's cursing is legendary, and Obama, as we've learned (do a text search for "light bulbs"), is known to drop an F-bomb or two himself. Yes we #@!&ing can!
And speculation is well underway for top Cabinet posts: Summers back to Treasury? Powell to the Pentagon? Oprah to run the FCC? (No, but let's see if that helps us on Google.) The roster of Obama's transition team is now public, and for the next couple of months that handful of aides will be among the most powerful people in the country. Go ahead and send along your resume later today.
On the Republican side, the McCain folks now have the knives out for Sarah Palin (we'll have more on that a bit later today. But wow.) Figuring out 2012 can come later. For now, it looks like Boehner and McConnell stay in charge on the Hill, with Eric Cantor moving up in the House and fights underway to run both the NRCC and the RNC.
Out in the Virginia countryside, a host of conservative leaders will get together today at the weekend home of Media Research Center head Brent Bozell -- complaining about media bias must pay pretty well -- to discuss the future of the conservative movement. Expected in attendance: Grover Norquist and others of his ilk who are undergoing their kind of own transition -- from very important a few years and even a few days ago, to much less so today.
November 6, 2008; 8:00 AM ET
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