Saturday, October 25, 2008

As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls

No the title is not some late-breaking poll news, it's the title of a tune and album of the great Pat Metheny, and just a metaphor for a round-up of the sinking Dead Campaign Express.

It be getting ugly over there.

In-fighting, back-stabbing, every-man-for-themselves-type vibe going on, with short tempers, and more conspiracies than who shot J.R., growing by the day.

There was one, juicy spat the other day, involving McKKKain lobbyist/aide, Randy Scheunemann, that Georgia-lovin', alleged foreign policy expert (the one who trained Mommy Moose for her VP debate), and Atlantic writer, Marc Ambinder.

After Ambinder posted "11 Days Out, And The Whispering Begins", on the "circular firing squad" that has been forming, in the McKKKain Camp, as well as in GOP circles, and, in particular, the whispers about The Wasilla Whiz Kid;

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. ("palling around with terrorists" was a line that escaped HQ's vetting... Palin's criticism of the campaign for pulling out of Michigan was greeted by anger internally... Palin's expressed opinion that Rev. Wright is a legitimate issue -- which subtly knocks McCain for not raising it -- was perceived as an attempt to preemptively blame McCain's wobbliness for his loss, which would theoretically enhance Palin's standing with the base.) The complaints extend all the back to Palin's vice presidential vetting. Major disclosures, issue positions and associations did not come up, and the campaign was so overwhelmed with new information early on, it largely abandoned an effort to defend them individually. This is the claim, anyway. For the record, senior adviser Mark Salter, accurately identified everywhere as the aide who is closest to McCain, calls this scenario "bullshit."
Well, can't be pulling the curtain back this early, to display the freakshow that the McKKKain Campaign is becoming.

So, Mr. Georgia-Lovin' Scheunemann fired off an email to Ambinder;
In response to this morning's post about an anti-Palin faction developing with the McCain campaign and among Republicans, Randy Scheunemann, McCain's chief foreign policy adviser, e-mails:

Just read your post. This is on the record. This is cleared by HQ. It is a fact that Barack Obama was palling around with terrorists. It was a fact before Governor Palin said it in a fully vetted speech and it is fact today. It is bullshit to claim or write anything else.
There, take that!

Nice, in one respect, seeing the top aides take responsibility for the lies and smears.

But, temper, temper, there, Randy Boy ...

Much of this started, two-days earlier, with the posting of a preview of an NYT Magazine article, "The Making (and Remaking) of McCain", which will run tomorrow (Sunday).

Let's just say it ain't a pretty picture, with the Rove Rat, Steve Schmidt, likely the cataylist for the sale of vodoo dolls and pins by the McKKKain donut eaters.

And it also peels back another juicy morsel, about the non-vetting of Ms. Troopergate.

From John Cole, in his "Anatomy of a Train Wreck";

And by the way- Sarah Palin was not vetted one tiny bit. They had no clue what they were getting into, and someone could make a hell of a blog post by going back and chronicling the right-wing noise machine and blogger pushback in which they asserted she was thoroughly vetted, because this piece just blows that BS out of the water.
So, as we move into today, what headlines are we greeted with?

Palin allies report rising campaign tension

Even as John McCain and Sarah Palin scramble to close the gap in the final days of the 2008 election, stirrings of a Palin insurgency are complicating the campaign's already-tense internal dynamics.

Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image -- even as others in McCain's camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain's decline.

"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.

Josh Marshall, enthusiastically, backs that call, shouting out "Go More Rogue".

From Steve Benen;
According to the piece in the Politico, Palin's people blame handlers for not letting her be herself. McCain's people blame Palin for being unprepared and unable to answer questions coherently. Palin's people don't want the governor to get the blame if the ticket loses, and McCain's people resent the lack of loyalty and discipline.
We'll have a calvacade of links below that you can pour through.

Meantime, pay attention to what will be the "greatest show on earth", the final week of a presidential campaign, and, from the Dead Campaign Express, more finger-pointing then you'll ever see at a Hand Model convention

Bonus Sticks and Stones Riffs

Emptywheel: When “Mavericks” Clash

John Cole: First Rule

John Aravosis (DC): "McCain Campaign Post-Mortem"

Matthew DeLong: Draper Lifts the Veil on the McCain Camp’s Inner Sanctum

Andrew Sullivan: The Party Of Rove And The Collapse Of McCain

Digby: Eating Their Own

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