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Aide Comes to Sarah Palin's Defense

(AP Photo/Chris Miller, File)

At least one former campaign aide to 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is rushing to her defense in light of the lengthy and blistering profile of the Alaska governor in Vanity Fair.

David Welch, a veteran campaign operative and behind-the-scenes researcher for the McCain-Palin campaign, takes issue with the anonymous quotes attributed to other former campaign aides in the magazine piece.

Welch, who was deputy research director on the campaign, says he was "shocked" by the Vanity Fair article and the allegations made by former staffers.

"Significant parts of the story are based on half truths and gossip from staffers who refused to go on the record," Welch said in a statement e-mailed to the Sleuth, which will be circulated more widely this afternoon. "Purdum did not include quotes from pro-Palin staffers (Mike Goldfarb, Randy Scheunemann have been outspoken in their support) - a clear sign of biased hit piece. If that doesn't convince you, the countless cheap shots and comparison of Palin to Nixon should."

Purdum, it should be noted, does quote John Coale, who established Palin's political action committee, SarahPAC, at length.

Welch also defended Palin's spokeswoman, Meg Stapleton, who Purdum criticizes in the magazine piece for her continued -- and frankly, puzzling -- use of a personal e-mail address rather than her state government account. Welch suggested Purdum was upset that Stapleton denied his request for an interview with Palin.

Purdum describes Stapleton in the piece as someone who has "drawn withering fire from Palin friends and critics alike for being an ineffective adviser."

"The Vanity Fair article was unfair and did not reflect the tremendous amount of respect and pride other staff felt working for her," Welch added. "This article simply accentuated the negative and eliminated the positive."

Among Purdum's many colorful descriptions of Palin is this paragraph:

But there were ominous signs--indications of an erratic nature. This is the third thing McCain could have discovered about Palin--a woman, after all, who kept a pregnancy secret for seven months, flew all the way home from Texas to Alaska with a near-full-term baby while leaking amniotic fluid, and then finally drove the 45 minutes from Anchorage to a hospital in Wasilla, all so that the child could be born in the 49th state. Palin was for the infamous Gravina Island "bridge to nowhere" before she was against it, and reversed herself only when such pork-barrel projects prompted a nationwide backlash. As governor, she hired several old high-school, hometown, or political friends with minimal qualifications for important state jobs. One friend, a former mid-level manager for Alaska Airlines, headed the department that reviewed candidates for state boards and commissions; another became director of the state Division of Agriculture, citing a childhood love of cows as one qualification. Palin communicated with legislators and her staff mainly by BlackBerry, sometimes using a personal e-mail account to avoid having to disclose documents under the state public-records laws.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  June 30, 2009; 2:57 PM ET
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No one could possibly make a bigger fool of Palin than she makes of herself every time she opens her mouth.

Posted by: ronaldoroso | June 30, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

shes an uneducated beauty queen. please, please let her run against obama, a constitutional law would make my decade.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | June 30, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

The Palins were "swingers", and she and Todd were pregnant before marriage, which makes her a giant hypocrite on top of being in the US hating secessionist AKIP Alaska-First political party membership.

Posted by: onestring | June 30, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't think "veteran campaign operative" David Welch knows what the word "extenuated" means.

"ex·ten·u·ate 1. To lessen or attempt to lessen the magnitude or seriousness of, especially by providing partial excuses."

Posted by: acslater | June 30, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Apparently Palin can dish it out, but oh, how she can't take it, especially when she's hiding behind her kids. Keep it coming!
The more people know about her, the less attractive she becomes as a viable candidate for anything.

Posted by: chappell1 | June 30, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

The more the elites keep hating on Gov. Palin, the more America loves her.

* PALIN 2012 *

* PRESIDENT PALIN: 12:00:00, 01.20.2013

Posted by: zjr78xva | June 30, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Painin the ( ! ).

Posted by: whocares666 | June 30, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Bush was elected.

With enough marketing and money, any unqualified, incompetent zealot can be sold to the electorate.

Posted by: forestflyer | June 30, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Some people are really below contempt. What they really need and what they really deserve is a good ol' back home ass whoopin and I hope someone gives it to them.How bout the other nit wit that just posted about the Palins being swingers. The best thing about the Internet is you can say anything about anybody with absolutely no proof and some other nitwit is sure to believe it.

Posted by: georgewhetstine | July 1, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

"The more the elites keep hating on Gov. Palin, the more America loves her."

So, the "elite" aren't America? You're only American if you are mediocre or worse? Way to show your pride, dude.

I think what you're really trying to say is: the more Americans with half a brain keep hating on Palin, the more that Americans without even half a brain love her.

Palin: for those who don't mind being an American Idiot.

Posted by: nodebris | July 1, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse


That has to be the quote of the year -

"Painin the (!)"

I take my hat off to ya!

In truth she is just that, for the Republicans that is! I would love to see her run againest President Obama.

Posted by: JoeNTx | July 1, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Right or wrong, I had sex in High School. Why my Girl Friend didn't get prenant, I'll never know. I sure can't throw any rocks at Sarah's Daughter over this.
As far as the Teenage Boy Friend living in the house with the Daughter. Well OK, I can see this as coming under the heading of "none of my darn business".
However when the Mother takes the Daughter's first child (Trig) & claims it as her own in front of the entire world just for political gain??? I mean really, isn't that kind of going off the deep end?
In truth this women needs to just skip the Presidental years & do what all the ex-Presidents do. That is just go straight to making speeches for big bucks. The Holy Rollers & Born Agains really need another Tammy Faye to lead them.

Posted by: JoeNTx | July 1, 2009 2:30 AM | Report abuse

It never ceases to amaze me how frantic the anti-Palin folks can be. It is as if the D's have an obsession and fear she will clean their clocks if the R's are smart enough to stand behind this gifted and talented woman.

Posted by: rterry1 | July 1, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

It appears that this woman has drawn the ire of most democrats and some republicans right from the moment her name was announced as VP choice. The outright and blatant hatred shown this woman by democrats, most of whom I bet didn't even know she existed, is indeed rather scary. It appears still that blatant misogynistic tendencies still abound to this day and while some claim to be so advanced re racial politics, putting forth a woman candidate irks them to no end and all the stereotypical excuses flow so freely. It is indeed a shame that Vanity Fair felt the need to even print this article but then, gossip and unattributed commentary are still what brings in the money from a populace so willing to be judgmental over nothing more than your political party affiliation.

Posted by: justmyvoice | July 1, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

It never ceases to amaze me how frantic the anti-Palin folks can be. It is as if the D's have an obsession and fear she will clean their clocks if the R's are smart enough to stand behind this gifted and talented woman.

Posted by: rterry1 | July 1, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse


It never ceases to amaze me how you people think that the dems are afraid of Palin.

We are NOT afraid of her, I assure you. We WANT her front and center. She's a damn site better to look at than anything else you've got and every time the nitwit opens her mouth it's like a gift from God.

This woman is clueless and every intelligent woman that I have spoken to about her says that she needs to go back to being a small town mayor where she can be as stupid as she wants. That's about as high as her brains will allow her to go.

What is it about the Republicans that makes them find the most unqualified, unintelligent, incurious, boobs (or in this case, set of boobs) and then put them out in front as a candidate for national office ? This woman has no qualities that I look for in a candidate, but that's jsut the way I vote.

Take a look at what your party has claimed were viable leaders: Bush, Reagan (the first one to turn Americans against Americans. What a legacy.), Gingrich, McCain, now Palin, the list goes on and on forever.

As your walk in the wilderness will until you stop trying to wage war in our own country and get back to being a viable party.

Posted by: dennissuper | July 1, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Folks, I hope you're paying attention to the vitriol and down right hatred that comes out of the mouths of the communists/socialist (democrats and republican infiltrators) They are really good at what they do, which is to destroy reputations of good people. Watching them is like watching evil itself.
But it doesn't frighten me, it motivates me. We, who fight against the evil of socialism,(by the way, proven to be evil by the millions of dead bodies left in their wake by the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Khruschev, Mao, Castro, and the list goes on) will never give up the fight. Those of you out there even close to being on my side, need to read the new book RELENTLESS: The Socialist Attack On American Freedom. It will help you understand this fight with absolute clarity. Order it from Barnes & Noble or Amazon. Author name: Krigbaum.

Posted by: ejkrigbum | July 1, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Nobody fears Palin, what we find amusing is the fact that those who prop her up cant see for themselves how ignorant she really is. That is the bottom line she knows NOTHING. She skipped questions at the VP Debate, couldn't name what magazines she reads, couldnt come up with a court decision she disagrees with. She it the epitome of an empty suit. We encourage you to have her run for Pres in 2012. If she couldnt out do Joe Biden during the VP Debate you think she can beat Obama? hahahahahaha

Posted by: rharring | July 1, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I am a married lawyer and mother from Massachusetts who really admires Sarah Palin. She's accomplished a lot, has a strong marriage and 5 kids. My hat is off to her.

I can't understand why she gets under Liberal's skin. The vehemence with which they attack her is astounding. The charges against her- even if true- would make her no different from many, many politicians.

Leave her alone! Your neurosis is showing!

Posted by: bh150243 | July 1, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

It amazes me that the Republican/Conservative movement continues to portray socialism as a political system. It is in fact an economic system, which has no bearing upon the governnment's exercise of its power over its citizens. Russia, China, Cuba, etal were dangerous because they were dictatorships (a political sytem)and the persons in charge used police and military power to maintain their grip on power. Only coincidentally were they also socialist or communist countries (an economic system). Denmark, Sweden, and to greater or lesser degrees, all western democracies are socialist economies but we continue to have democratic forms of government.

Posted by: kmar20009 | July 1, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Todd Purdum should be writing for the National Enquirer, the Star, or The Globe. He's not a journalist. He's no more than a 'gossip' columnist who admittedly relies on 'unnamed and anonymous' sources to augment his own biased and sensational views of the political scene and its leaders. He's just one more of the growing number of so-called writers, broadcasters and analysts who need to go back to journalism school and learn the basics of reporting. How former Clinton White House Press Corp manager, Dee Dee Meyers, can live with this guy is beyond belief. Especially after the trash piece he wrote on the post Clinton Presidency to further undermine the credibility of both Senator Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton.

Posted by: mpwynn | July 1, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is person the liberals love to hate because she stands for principles that these individuals deplore! Just for the record, there are those of us who can't stand what left wing liberals represent!! I would gladly vote for Sarah Palin again if she ran for office! I would rather have someone who is trustworthy, walks the talk and doesn't do a lot "lip service" like the rest of these political leaders! I am ready for a "change" with those in political power...A lot of these politicians need to be out to pasture. They are so disillusioned into believing that they are indispensable, not so. Time to vote people just like Gov. Palin who would be a breath of fresh air which is exactly what our country needs right now!

Posted by: Rhonda5 | July 1, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

David Welch, a veteran campaign operative and behind the scenes researcher for the McCain-Palin campaign was shocked, simply shocked, that anyone would have a negative opinion of Palin.

Posted by: Patriot3 | July 1, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

And now the hate?

Fun is fun, but enough is also enough.
What might have been funny (even I made a joke or two) is now just spiteful.

Why? When one wants to insult, just go for the obvious.
this has dragged on way beyond what it should have been at all.
So let's call a truce
And as they say on tv "stop the madness", because that is what it is.

dePaul Consiglio

Posted by: depaulconsiglio | July 1, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I haven't made up my mind about Sarah Palin myself but the diatribes of some of the posters show pure hatred and lack of any civility. Clearly one side of the political spectrum has directed only disgust at themselves. Want to make a point? Be civil and make only those accusations that you can prove.

Posted by: kdjkdj | July 1, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The secessionist palin is a pathological liar, and hypocrite. Her intro during the 08 failed campaign, began with sarcastic, cynical, lies--it has not stopped.

But, of all the things her and mccain did, it was the race baiting and those incendiary speeches that shall NEVER be either forgiven, or forgotten.

This type of article was bound to happen. Anyone with half a brain could tell palin was not prepared for the duties of VP, and at least some of the campaign crew, had to have noticed what a freakin' idiot she is.

The big GOP cover-up, the lies to promote their brainless immoral duo of fringe right-wing hate is the most interesting part of this.

They allowed themselves to support a hopelessly ignorant team, all to win an election--all the while, knowing that neither one were capable of the job. Now, that is sad.

Love the way her ignorant followers defend her. Her supporters are no brighter than she is. Their arguments are baseless, and speak to the personal fellings they assUme people have about palin. Ah-NO! Wrong! I don't feel one way or the other PERSONALLY about palin! Where the problem comes in, is her "assUming" she is qualified to run our country--someone needs to tell her she isn't, and NEVER will be.

Please run palin and sanford on the 2012 GOP ticket. PLease!

Posted by: dematheart | July 1, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Do you think that President Obama is any more qualified or competent to be our President than Governor Sarah Palin would have been as our Vice President? After all, she is a Governor of Alaska and has more experience than President Obama who was a state senator for a couple of years. Do you not realize that former President Bush also graduated from Harvard?
I am not sure the point you are trying to make because we have quite a few elected officials who are extremely bright and graduated from elite schools and yet look at the state of our nation's economy? What does that tell you about who is more qualified? It all boils down to a person's character and their integrity. If a person doesn't demonstrate this in their lives then they aren't trustworthy...

Posted by: Rhonda5 | July 1, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I sometimes get annoyed that all of our politicians seem to come from Harvard or Yale. And then I come to my senses. They are in these positions because they are willing to work at the issues (and have the brains to do so), whether they are conservative or progressive. Palin, on the other hand, was not that motivated in school, and still does not have the intellectual curiosity and drive (ala GWB) to become an attractive (in a non-physical sense) candidate for any position beyond where she is, Roman Hruska notwithstanding. Although I despise her subdividing us into "real Americans" and the rest of us with whom she does not agree, it is her essential unwillingness to put forth the time and effort to really understand the complexities of governing that are most disturbing.

Posted by: RYBice | July 1, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Why, oh why would ANYONE with a working brain think this woman was POTUS material. She was the reason the much admired McCain lost. She can't quite grasp that fact and has become a media junkie instead of developing herself with a positive profile as serious politicians have done. She should have taken the advice of the GOP to go home, keep her head down and teach herself all she could about policy and government. Then maybe, just maybe, she would be in the running for the senate or better, and admired by more than the extreme right wingnuts, the NRA and moose hunters. But, nooooo....she opens her mouth so all can hear she has blind ambition with no substance and is a finger-pointing self proclaimed victim. She had her shot, and royally blew it. The truth hurts.
- Once Republican

Posted by: jinx2 | July 1, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I would like to remind those who defend President Obama and believe he is much more intelligent and far superior than our former president or Sarah Palin what he stated on his campaign trail...He stated that Iran didn't pose a threat to America and they were such a small country...Hmmmm...

Posted by: Rhonda5 | July 1, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was common practice to make a notation of some sort when correcting an earlier typographical error??? I see that extenuate has now been changed to, the proper, accentuate. While my earlier comment remains posted, there is no indication in the text of the blog entry that a change was made. Was the initial error David Welch's or Mary Ann Akers'? Some sort of acknowledgement of the change would be nice and seems to be standard in the online world (e.g., striking out the old text rather than deleting it, or including a footnote).

Posted by: acslater | July 1, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Let me say this. I do not hate Sarah Palin. I wish nothing but the best for her & her Family.
The simple truth is this: The Republican Party has put her in a position that's not the best thing for her or this Country. She will never be elected to high office. Her base is just not broad enough & it never will be.
She is now a force in the Republican Party & she will be for years to come. The road to a Republican Presidentcy will now lead thru her front door. No Republican can get elected to high office without her endorsement. Simple put, ya'll created this monster, now live with it!

Posted by: JoeNTx | July 1, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

justmyvoice writes:
"It appears still that blatant misogynistic tendencies still abound to this day and while some (Democrats) claim to be so advanced re racial politics, putting forth a woman candidate irks them to no end and all the stereotypical excuses flow so freely."

Really? Did you miss the entire Democratic primary? Why do you think the McCain campaign chose an unknown (even to McCain) female candidate at the last minute?

justmyvoice also wrote:
"gossip and unattributed commentary are still what brings in the money from a populace so willing to be judgmental over nothing more than your political party affiliation."

You probably failed to notice that Palin's "defender" did not deny statements in the VF article, he merely pointed out that some other aides would have positive things to say about Palin but were not quoted. In other words, the harshest criticism he has of the article is that it's "biased" in his opinion.

"Biased" and "wrong" are not the same. ALL articles are biased, to one extent or another. It does not mean the facts of this article are false or inaccurate.

Much of the behavior described in this article has been witnessed by the public. And much of the "non public" behavior described in the article has been referred to or verified by other journalists not associated with the VF writer.

Posted by: bmckenzie46 | July 1, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse


You my friend must be an educated or well read person. Your comment regarding socialism being an economic system is right on. I wish that more people would have an understanding of political science, macro and micro economics; however, I am not under any illusions.

Posted by: dempseysdad | July 2, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Rmarks003 | July 2, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I'm continually amazed at how the 'tolerant' liberals, who actually won the election feel like they have to continue trashing Sarah Palin.

FWIW, I'll take Sarah's education over Ivy League Obama any day. She seems to have a much firmer grasp on the Constitution.

Posted by: tc_rider | July 2, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

forestflyer is correct. Anyone with good marketing and money who is unqualified and an incompetent zealot can be sold to the electorate.

Palin does not fit this mold but Obama does.

Posted by: duke99 | July 2, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I noticed a significant number of BHO liberal lemming responses. They tout Obama's law degree but don't make any mention of his ignoring or ignorance of the law (pick your flavor). They don't talk about his experience or acknowledge his Chicago political training and ACORN background.
These same lemmings are accepting jibes offered from anonymous McCain staffers responsible for a lost presidential campaign. The only job they can find in today's Obama economy is spieling trash about Sarah Palin.
Leave the lady and her family alone. Pull the log out of your own eye before judging others.

Posted by: wwwilins | July 2, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

How quickly the left forgets: June 2, 2008

MILBANK, S.D. -- Former President Bill Clinton today unleashed a salty stream of epithets to describe former New York Times reporter and current Vanity Fair writer Todd Purdum, calling him "sleazy," "dishonest," "slimy" and a "scumbag."

The former president made the comment at a local campaign event after I asked him if Purdum's much-commented upon Vanity Fair story was weighing on his mind.

Tightly gripping this reporter's hand and refusing to let go, Clinton heatedly denounced the writer, who is currently married to former Clinton White House Press Secretary, Dee Dee Myers.

"[He's] sleazy," he said referring to Purdum. "He's a really dishonest reporter. And one of our guys talked to him . . . And I haven't read [the article]. But he told me there's five or six just blatant lies in there. But he's a real slimy guy," the former president said.

Posted by: BJGRASER | July 2, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

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