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Senior Palin aide Meghan Stapleton resigns, re-shapes inner circle

Meghan Stapleton, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's most prominent political adviser, is resigning her post to spend more time with her family, she said today.

"I just wasn't doing a good job balancing" work and home life, said Stapleton in a interview this afternoon. "This isn't a reflection on [Palin] at all."

Stapleton said that the former governor wasn't surprised about the resignation; "She knew that I was struggling with this decision for quite a while," said Stapleton. She added that talk that Palin would be adrift politically without her is overblown. "She is who she is," Stapleton said of the 2008 vice presidential nominee. "She makes a lot of decisions herself."

The news of Stapleton's departure was first reported by Politico.

With Stapleton, who was one of the few Palin aides that stayed with the former governor through the twists and turns of the past several years, no longer actively involved in the political operation, the group of those advising the once -- and perhaps future -- national candidate is decidedly low profile.

In conversations with those intimately familiar with the Palin orbit, they say that she relies on a very small group of people to advise her -- most of whom (although not all) are on the payroll of Sarah PAC, her leadership political action committee.

Here's a look at the Palin inner circle (minus Stapleton):

* Jason Recher: Recher did advance work for the Bush White House for nearly a decade before signing on with Palin's vice presidential bid. He travels extensively with Palin.

* Doug McMarlin: McMarlin is a partner at GreyShockley, an Ohio-based consulting firm, and did advance work for the McCain campaign in 2008. He along with Jason Recher travel with Palin on trips. McMarlin is expected to take on a broadened role -- particularly in dealing with the press -- following Stapleton's departure.

* Kim Daniels: A conservative attorney, Daniels is serving as Palin's lead domestic policy adviser.

* Randy Schuenemann: Schuenemann, who served as a foreign policy adviser to McCain during the 2008 campaign, plays the same role for Palin. He also did stints as a foreign policy adviser to Sens. Trent Lott (Miss.) and Bob Dole (Kans.). Schuenemann is perhaps best known for his public advocacy for the invasion of Iraq during the early part of the last decade.

* Fred Malek: Malek, the finance chairman of McCain's 2008 effort, has emerged as the leading Palin backer within establishment Republican circles in Washington. Unlike many in the chattering class who claim to have Palin's ear, Malek actually does.

* Rebecca Mansour: Mansour, is one of the founders of conservatives4palin.com -- a website dedicated to unceasing advocacy of the former governor. She was hired last fall as an adviser to Palin's Sarah PAC.

* Tim Crawford: Crawford is the treasurer of Sarah PAC and a former finance director of the Republican National Committee -- a job from which he resigned abruptly last year at this time.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 24, 2010; 3:23 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2012  
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Comments

drivl,

Ohh, Ohh, let me guess. John McCain, since he was born in Panama?

I'm pretty sure that 'nearly half' is the same thing as 'minority.' Although this is Arizona, ranked dead last in the country for education. They may count differently than the rest of us.

Posted by: Mickey71 | February 26, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

marilyn80,

It's hard to know how to respond to such a well-thought out, cogent, articulate take- down of liberals, but let me try. As liberal 'dummercrat,' I personally am not afraid of Mrs. Palin. I am, however, afraid of the collective intellect of a country that could allow a person of such documented bad character, intellectual laziness and insignificant accomplishment rise to the level of serious contention for national office. It is people who believe that making up junior-high worthy names for their opponents is a legitimate political strategy and who consider 'common sense' to be spitting out a slew of platitudes disconnected from any real facts about the issues facing this country that I fear. It is the people who reject any form of serious discourse as 'elitist' and who demand proof of patriotism via shouting match, the ones who measure the value of a discussion by how often the terms 'our freedoms' and 'our rights,'(but never 'our responsibilities as citizens') are used--those are the people I fear. It is the people who 'hate' government and want to destroy it without any serious consideration of what that actually means that I fear. The people who want government out of health care for everyone else, but don't want their Medicare or Social Security benefits touched. It is the people who love this country for what they can take from it, not what they can give back to it--those are the people who scare me--and it doesn't matter whether they are 'dummercrats,' Teabagger's or conservatives. Wherever they might be found, it is the arrogantly selfish and ignorant who are the biggest threat to this country, not a single foolish woman from Alaska. Palin is a symptom, not the disease. The disease is ill-informed hysteria masquerading as legitimate grievance (not that there aren't legitimate grievances--it's just that so far Palin and followers have not managed to get the facts of any of them right). The primary symptom is the apparent inability of grown adults to distinguish between complete silliness and the sober, serious, adult deliberation that will be required to get things back on track in this country. But, hey, calling me a dummercrat has really opened my eyes. How can anyone argue with the brilliance of a zinger like that?

Posted by: Mickey71 | February 26, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

You watch how you say that word "progressive types" buddy because if wasn't for the few "progressive types" that helped draft the Constitution and laide the foundation for the Bill of Rights the colonies would still be part of the British Empire, slave economy would drive our economic system, most of our signs would be multi-lingual, and our form of justice would be lynching people without a fair trial and burning people's houses down for devil worship.

Meghan and Sarah didn't have the sophistication or the intelligence to understand that eventually people would figure out that McCain's camp was telling the truth & that Sarah Palin is nothing more than a whacked out diva whose only gift is to incite hatred, racism, bigotry, and political anarchy.


Posted by: affectionatelyours | February 25, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Noacoler: Thanks for encouraging people to visit http://conservatives4palin.com . It is the only place on the internet where you can get the ENTIRE story on controversies involving Palin, most of which are overblown kerfuffles and some of which are made from whole cloth by a cabal of nasty people in Alaska (most of them "progressive" bloggers) who intensely, personally hate her and have made ruining her life their personal mission.

So far, they've failed spectacularly. But not for lack of trying.

Posted by: LNSmithee | February 25, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

* Randy Schuenemann: Schuenemann, who served as a foreign policy adviser to McCain during the 2008 campaign, plays the same role for Palin. He also did stints as a foreign policy adviser to Sens. Trent Lott (Miss.) and Bob Dole (Kans.). Schuenemann is perhaps best known for his public advocacy for the invasion of Iraq during the early part of the last decade.

What surprises me about this is both Lott and Dole were skeptics when it came to both Gulf Wars. Dole actually went to Iraq with Alan Simpson in 1990 to meet with Saddam.

* Fred Malek: Malek, the finance chairman of McCain's 2008 effort, has emerged as the leading Palin backer within establishment Republican circles in Washington. Unlike many in the chattering class who claim to have Palin's ear, Malek actually does.

Nothing like getting advice from the count the Jews guy at the Bureau of Labor Stats during the Nixon Administration. Maybe when Palin says that "more and more Jews will be moving to Israel" she needs an accurate count, especially when the Rapture comes.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | February 25, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Governor Palin needs to get some experience under her belt. Some of the representatives we now have need to listen to the majority of people who do not want a more intrusive government in their lives. We are broke period. We do not need more government run programs. We need to scale back government. Medicaid and Medicare are going broke now. How can adding millions more to these programs when we don't have enough medical personnel to take care of them be wise? If you think getting an appointment or waiting see your health care professional takes to long now, just wait until they pass this so called Health Care Reform. Most of our Reprsentatives know very little about the workings of Health Care. Yet, they want to ram down our throats a program just to keep them in office or to get elected. The state of Massachusetts has Universal Health Care and it is going broke because of it and Health Care premiums are still going up despite the fact that everyone must have a health care plan. Take heed!!

Posted by: kramerv43 | February 25, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Palin has aides? Is it possible that she's being advised to say the dumb stuff she says? Everytime Palin speaks, McCain sounds dumber.

Posted by: fgtilley | February 25, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Palin has aides? Is it possible that she's being advised to say the dumb stuff she says? Everytime Palin speaks, McCain sounds dumber.

Posted by: fgtilley | February 25, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Palin has aides? Is it possible that she's being advised to say the dumb stuff she says? Everytime Palin speaks, McCain sounds dumber.

Posted by: fgtilley | February 25, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Palin has aides? Is it possible that she's being advised to say the dumb stuff she says? Everytime Palin speaks, McCain sounds dumber.

Posted by: fgtilley | February 25, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Palin has aides? Is it possible that she's being advised to say the dumb stuff she says? Everytime Palin speaks, McCain sounds dumber.

Posted by: fgtilley | February 25, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"I wonder how this will affect Chris Mathews? He prefers natural."

Actually, Chris Matthews prefers alcohol.

Posted by: bacala1 | February 25, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

What's so funny/sad is that Palin's PAC shoveled hundreds of thousands of dollars to all of these "advisers" and the result is an endless parade of recycled platitudes, talking points, cliches, mangled facts, and insults. Never a real idea. "Ronald Reagan" and "common sense" is about as deep as it gets.

Hard to tell who is being ripped off, and who is doing the ripping off. The important thing is, I guess, that Palin is an "outsider" who wouldn't be caught dead doing business in the Beltway with all those evil Washington elites.

Posted by: BlueDog1 | February 25, 2010 3:38 AM | Report abuse

leaping
I hear Obama does not answer his own phone either!

Posted by: jmh300 | February 24, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Yep,you betcha all you liberals,Obamacrats
and dimwit Dummercrats are soooo totally
afraid of Sarah Palin that you foam at the
mouth and rabidly attack her insanely!...
And that alone tells me that we need to
elect Sarah Palin our next President in
2012! Take back America for Americans,
Arrest,Deport All Illegal Aliens,Starting
With Barack Hussein Obama and his Illegal
Alien Court Ordered Deported Aunt To Kenya!

Vote Sarah Palin for President in 2012!

Posted by: Marilyn80 | February 24, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Yep,you betcha all you liberals,Obamacrats
and dimwit Dummercrats are soooo totally
afraid of Sarah Palin that you foam at the
mouth and rabidly attack her insanely!...
And that alone tells me that we need to
elect Sarah Palin our next President in
2012! Take back America for Americans,
Arrest,Deport All Illegal Aliens,Starting
With Barack Hussein Obama and his Illegal
Alien Court Ordered Deported Aunt To Kenya!

Vote Sarah Palin for President in 2012!

Posted by: Marilyn80 | February 24, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Yep,you betcha all you liberals,Obamacrats
and dimwit Dummercrats are soooo totally
afraid of Sarah Palin that you foam at the
mouth and rabidly attack her insanely!...
And that alone tells me that we need to
elect Sarah Palin our next President in
2012! Take back America for Americans,
Arrest,Deport All Illegal Aliens,Starting
With Barack Hussein Obama and his Illegal
Alien Court Ordered Deported Aunt To Kenya!

Vote Sarah Palin for President in 2012!

Posted by: Marilyn80 | February 24, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Odd that Mr. and Mrs. G. Van Susteren, by far the famous members of the Palin "inner circle," aren't mentioned. What gives?

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 24, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Especially when none of them can write their own material so they all use the same borrowed phrases on the same day. And they repeat their own posts because it's too hard to write new ones.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 24, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I leapin another pseudonym for zouk/drivl/moonbat/snobama? with teleprompter and nancy pelosi 'jokes' it sure sounds like it.

of course all the wingers repeat the same infantile drool they hear hate radio so it's hard to tell.

Posted by: drindl | February 24, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Rebecca Mansour: Mansour, is one of the founders of conservatives4palin.com -- a website dedicated to unceasing advocacy of the former governor. She was hired last fall as an adviser to Palin's Sarah PAC.
 
==
 
Want a good laugh?  Go take a look at that site.  To call it “advocacy” is way past a stretch, Chris, it’s 100.00% apologia, angry rants trying to cover up Palin’s endless stream of idiotic statements.  The entire “content” of the site can be summarized as alternating between these two positions:
 
“she didn’t say that!”
 
And when this fails,
 
“she didn’t mean that!”

Posted by: Noacoler | February 24, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

leapin...

Did you know this was a topic about Sarah Palin?

NOT Pelosi, not Obama, not teleprompters, not Chris Matthews -- just Sarah Palin.

Take your whining about our duly elected President and the majority (although you'd never know it the way they keep wimping) Congress somewhere else, like Hot Air.

Posted by: kayjay503 | February 24, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

John McCain chose an illiterate to b&w his VP. Why couldn't she even name any newpapers? Because words like Tribune and Herald and Post are beyond her ability.

If she can't write Facebook tweets then she can't write, period.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 24, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Rebecca Mansour was hired to ghostwrite Sarah Palin's facebook notes. This is significant but there are no journalists reporting it.

Posted by: sallyes
----------------------------------------
Did you know that Obama doesn't open his own mail?

Posted by: leapin | February 24, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Why are we dredging up all the Romney and Palin stuff in the week that is supposed to be devoted to health care ?


,

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 24, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Rebecca Mansour was hired to ghostwrite Sarah Palin's facebook notes. This is significant but there are no journalists reporting it.

Posted by: sallyes | February 24, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

The Woman is Mentally Unstable, Confused & has No Validity Or Substance, other than Her Looks, for a 40 Something Year Old.

She's a Hollow, Floating Bubble...

Period, End of Discussion.
-----------------------------------------
Come on. The science is not in. Change the age a little and you could be talking about Pelosi.

Posted by: leapin | February 24, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

The Woman is Mentally Unstable, Confused & has No Validity Or Substance, other than Her Looks, for a 40 Something Year Old.

She's a Hollow, Floating Bubble...

Period, End of Discussion.

Posted by: omaarsblade | February 24, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

this from the smoker who stuffs a pair of socks in his underwear to "compensate"

Posted by: Noacoler
-----------------------------------------
I never heard this before about Barry. I wonder how this will affect Chris Mathews?
He prefers "natural".

Posted by: leapin | February 24, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Translation: She got tired of lying in front of her kids.

Posted by: JRM2 | February 24, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Will he put lifts in his shoes? Or somekind of fake buns in his pants?

==

this from the smoker who stuffs a pair of socks in his underwear to "compensate"

Posted by: Noacoler | February 24, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Obama is acting more and more like an unrealistic child who is throwing a tantrum because he didn't get what he wanted.


Obama has got to be kidding - the country deserves a level of maturity that we are not seeing.

The American People do not want Obama's health care bill - they do not want to create a massive spending program - they do not want the massive taxes. Somehow Obama sees massive spending as his path to greatness. It is not.

Everyone is quickly getting sick of Obama.

We have a situation in this country in which people are tuning Obama out - they don't want to listen to anything he's got to say - You know I still want to see good government.

Obama's positions and tactics have poisoned the political system in this country.


It is horrible.

Obama has made serious mistakes - and his arrogance has made the whole situation worse. When reporters who used to fawn over the Obama people are now using the word "delusional" then there is a serious problem with our government.


Obama has to grow up - and fast - it is about time that Obama realize he is a LAME DUCK - and start acting in a way that reflects reality.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 24, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Stapleton probably quit because she was bored. What were her responsibilities as "political adviser" to Palin? Did she ghost-write Facebook posts?

==

geography lessons?

Difference between continents and countries?

Posted by: Noacoler | February 24, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Why is this woman taken seriously? By anyone? Enough!

Posted by: scrivener50
------------------------------------------
Ask CC - more and more blogs are about Sarah.
I heard there is a big summit meeting coming up. How about something on that? I heard something about ground rules where BO can't use a telepropmter. Will he be using a wireless device in his ear? He also can't use a height differential. Will he put lifts in his shoes? Or somekind of fake buns in his pants?

Posted by: leapin | February 24, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"This isn't a reflection on [Palin] at all."
 
==
 
(*chortle*)
 
No, of course not.  She really did need to spend more time with her family.  Breast-feeding in the office wasn’t close enough.
 
14:57 … 14:58 … 14:59 … 15:00  ding!
 
… bat.
 
Bye, Sarah, hope you had a nice ride.  Now comes the nutty stunts, and it ends with the hotel room OD.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 24, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Arizona is the new Kansas. What a frivolous waste of time.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 24, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Why is this woman taken seriously? By anyone? Enough!

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 24, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Stapleton probably quit because she was bored. What were her responsibilities as "political adviser" to Palin? Did she ghost-write Facebook posts?

Posted by: Blarg | February 24, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

What we are seeing today is the fatal fracturing of the fragile alliance between wingnuts and the Republican establishment:

"In an interview with Newsmax, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush seemed dismissive of the viability of a Sarah Palin candidacy for President. While touting her ability to “appeal to large groups of people,” Bush added that he had concerns about her grasp of real world issues:

BUSH: My personal belief is that, for Governor Palin to be a successful candidate for higher office, she needs to take this charisma she has and add to it some depth of understanding of the complexity of life we’re living in today.

In 2008, Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) previously issued a similar criticism of Palin, saying she was not “experienced enough” to be President. And former First Lady Laura Bush acknowledged that, “of course,” Palin didn’t have the requisite foreign policy experience. And Dick Cheney reportedly thought Palin was a “reckless choice” for vice president."

Posted by: drindl | February 24, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

By the way, where's John McCain's birth certificate? He wasn't born in the US, after all.

Posted by: drindl | February 24, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

indeed, shrink.

'Meghan Stapleton, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's most prominent political adviser, is resigning her post to spend more time with her family, she said today.

"I just wasn't doing a good job balancing" work and home life, said Stapleton in a interview this afternoon. "This isn't a reflection on [Palin] at all."

No, not. at. all. Of course not.

Anbyody who resigns to 'spend more time with their family' -- always has another reason. It's become a joke.

Posted by: drindl | February 24, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Guess who won't be on the ballot in AZ?

Arizona House panel approves bill
requiring presidential candidates
to show birth certificates
Associated Press, by Jonathan J. Cooper

PHOENIX (AP) — Nearly half of the Arizona Legislature wants to force President Barack Obama to show his birth certificate to state officials if he runs for re-election. A state House committee on Tuesday approved the measure sponsored by 40 of the state's 90 legislators

Posted by: drivl | February 24, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Whew, that last thread was getting pretty serious. Now we can laugh again. Sarah Palin hahahahahahahaahahahahahahahhhahhaaa, chortle, snicker. Thanks Chris.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 24, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

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