Palin’s Ambition-Fueled Rift With McCain Raises New Questions about Rove’s Role

A report in the Rupert Murdoch’s Times of London suggests that John McCain and Sarah Palin are on the outs:
If McCain wins, Vice Pres. Palin will owe her position just a 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency to Rove. If McCain loses, Rove will once again be the “brain” masterminding the ascendancy of the GOP’s next rising star.

With his electoral prospects fading by the day, Senator John McCain has fallen out with his vice-presidential running mate about the direction of his White House campaign.

McCain has become alarmed about the fury unleashed by Sarah Palin, the moose-hunting “pitbull in lipstick,” against Senator Barack Obama. Cries of “terrorist” and “kill him” have accompanied the tirades by the governor of Alaska against the Democratic nominee at Republican rallies.

Mark Salter, McCain’s long-serving chief of staff, is understood to have told campaign insiders that he would prefer his boss, a former Vietnam prisoner of war, to suffer an “honourable defeat” rather than conduct a campaign that would be out of character — and likely to lose him the election.

Not only is McCain unhappy with the tenor of Palin’s attacks on Obama, the Times says he has prevented her from going after Obama on his relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Palin is disgruntled with the leadership of the campaign, the paper says. She objected to the decision to withdraw from Michigan, and her advice to McCain to “take the gloves off” in the second debate was ignored.

A “leading Republican consultant” tells the Times that the source of friction between McCain and Palin is Palin’s ambitions:

“Sarah Palin is no fool. She sees the same thing and wants to salvage what she can. She is positioning herself for the future. Her best days could be in front of her. She wants to look as though she was the fighter, the person with the spunk who was out there taking it to the Democrats.”

Palin would prefer to be vice president, no doubt, but even if her ticket loses, she is in position to come up a winner. She will leapfrog the GOP old-boy hierarchy to become both the party’s leader during Obama’s first term and the odds-on favorite to be the GOP nominee in 2012.

The fact that a pol with such eerie similarities to George Bush — a meagerly gifted energy-state governor with a stunted intellect and a Christian nationalist ideology — has been maneuvered into position to become the nation’s next top Republican raises questions anew about Karl Rove’s role in Palin’s selection.

Can it be an accident that at the moment Bush is slouching back to Texas, Rove, the symbiot, finds a new host — an empty-headed pol who is every bit as craven, incurious and, most importantly, malleable as Bush? It makes sense on the surface: Making kings (or queens) is what kingmakers do.

Among those who believe there is truth behind the rumors in August that Role played puppet master in Palin’s selection is Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi:

It wasn’t until the selection of Sarah Palin that there began to be whispers about a direct connection between McCain and the actual flesh-and-blood Rove, as opposed to mere Rovism or Rovian tactics.

First there were reports that Rove called Joe Lieberman before the GOP convention and told him to call McCain and withdraw his name from consideration for the VP nomination. Rove denied the report, but conceded that he had been in touch with the McCain camp, saying, “I receive calls from people who are friends over there, which I’ve said a million times.” He described the interaction as mere “chitchat,” a claim seconded by the McCain camp. McCain aide Tucker Bounds insisted Rove had no access: “He’s a Fox analyst.”

But after the surprising nomination of Palin — a move that fairly stank of Rovian thinking, with its 10-megaton brazenness, its blunt anti-intellectualism and its naked courting of Rove’s beloved electoral cattle, the evangelicals — Rove seemingly let it slip in a Fox broadcast that he did have inside info, saying during the teen-pregnancy flap that Palin was “carefully vetted. . . . They knew all of it.” An anonymous Republican source soon told a Washington newspaper that Rove had a consistent, “medium”-size role with the McCain campaign.

Like Palin, Rove stands to gain whether McCain wins or loses next month. If he wins, Vice Pres. Palin will owe her position just a 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency to Rove. If McCain loses, Rove will once again be the “brain” masterminding the ascendancy of the GOP’s next rising star.

18 Comments

  • JC Hammer
    October 15, 2008 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    People may now think Palin is a rising star in the GOP, but with the new investigations going on in AK she may not survive the fall out.

    And if Rove is involved with her, he probably has made a mistake he didn’t foresee. But don’t count anything out.

  • chupachup
    October 15, 2008 - 8:47 am | Permalink

    it’s really up to the people from the “great state of alaska” to nail her cabal for their misuse of her executive powers on the sate level. otherwise she will be their most infamous export. i think the first dude will make karl look like a wimp.
    we can only hope that they will be held accountable, otherwise they will be a barnacle on the ship of state for a long time to come.

  • Angela
    October 15, 2008 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    So much for McCain being a maverick. If he truly was a maverick he would have stuck to his first choice and forged ahead. No, he caved and put himself first in his desperation to be the next president.

    McCain’s legacy will be his helping hand in delivering the shallow Palin to the national political landscape. McCain, thanks for nothing.

  • jethrow
    October 15, 2008 - 11:02 am | Permalink

    McCain in his eagerness to become president has opened Pandora’s box. Only from this election forward it will be known as the Palin Plague. I am hoping beyond hope that Palin tucks her tail in and runs back to Alaska, but that won’t happen. She reminds me of Cromwell in British history.

  • October 15, 2008 - 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I read an article in which a friend of Palin’s was sitting at the kitchen table:
    Friend:”don’t worry Sarah, within ten years, you’ll be governor of Alaska”
    Palin:”I don’t wanna be governor. I wanna be President”
    Such selfish ambition. After all, it’s not what’s best for the United States, is it? It’s what’s best for your political career.
    http://www.patriought.com/

  • Elizabeth
    October 15, 2008 - 4:34 pm | Permalink

    We must take Rove out of circulation. Jail would be nice. If the Republican party makes Sarah their leader, they deserve the generation of wandering in the wilderness they will hopefully get. If not we’ll be a third world county.

  • October 15, 2008 - 4:44 pm | Permalink

    The only problem with your scenario is you neglected the fact that Rove is guilty of many crimes. He could very well end up in prison before 2012 rolls around.

    Remember, Rove is no genius. He is nothing but a liar, a cheat and a thief. In short, Rove is nothing but a common thug.

  • Karl Evans
    October 15, 2008 - 9:48 pm | Permalink

    We should all probably thank John McCain for putting Palin on the Republican ticket this year. By thrusting her onto the national stage completely unprepared, unseasoned, and generally oblivious, McCain has ensured the growing negative first impression she is leaving with Americans will solidly define her in the years to come. Had she slipped onto the national scene under the radar in a few years, she might have been better equipped to fool the public into thinking she was a rational, competent person.

  • Pursang
    October 15, 2008 - 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Palin is a dimwit puppet. If she does manage to slither her way out of this can-o-worms she’s opened up here in Ak, she will vaporize any continuity the Republican party may have left, and right now they’re running on fumes. Rove and the rest of his neo-CON cronies need to be thrown into the deepest, darkest dungeon we can find.

  • serena1313
    October 16, 2008 - 2:58 am | Permalink

    Everyone seems to be missing the elephant in the room: What does it say about McCain’s leadership when he allows others to select his running mate. He wanted either Lieberman or Ridge, but they are pro-choice.

    Insofar as who vetted Sarah Palin: according to Sydney Blumenthal, the Council for National Policy — an ultra-secretive right-wing group that includes: Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Grover Norquist, Tim LaHaye and Paul Weyrich — did.

    http://www.thenation.com/blogs/campaignmatters?pid=352178

    Rove came to Washington with one goal in mind: establish a permanent republican majority. Rove got Bush “elected” with the Evangelicals’ vote. Knowing McCain had to shore-up the base for the republican to win leaves no doubt Karl Rove is advising McCain — if not directly, then thru his surrogates. Rove’s MO is to stay one or two degrees removed from controversial situations. Henceforth explains his denials about advising McCain, but Rove’s fingerprints are too noticeably distinguishable.

    Republicans are learning that when they are not true to their conservative principles and instead push out-of-mainstream-policies on the public, they lose. For that reason Palin is unlikely to become the GOP leader. Rove ended up dividing the republicans into moderates and the ultra-far right. Rove’s loss is just beginning to sink-into the GOP mind-set.

    McCain has not figured it out either. He does not realize how much damage he has done to his own legacy. Notwithstanding McCain chose to follow Rove’s handbook — he did not have to.

    “Do no harm.” Words matter only when matched by deed… Just like a tiger does not change its stripes nor a leopard its spots similarly people do not change either. If McCain was a strong, honourable leader and really had the country first at heart he would have never agreed to Sarah Palin as his running-mate.

    That is elephant in the room.

  • Stephen
    October 16, 2008 - 6:36 am | Permalink

    I can only hope that Palin is the leader of the republicans in the future. This is an airhead, trailer trash, piece of garbage who believes she has foreign policy experience because Alaska is close to Russia. This is the leader the republicans need. Someone who will show the entire world how stupid they all are. Anyone who considers themselves a republican after the past 8 years is clinically insane.

  • Caps
    October 16, 2008 - 11:04 am | Permalink

    Palin may not survive her own Governorship, much less be the sparkling “new star” on the horizon. Remember, there were more people who voted against her than for her in her election to governor her two opponents, an independent who got 20 percent of the vote and a democrat who got 39 percent had more cumulative more votes than Palin did. The anchorage papers are having a field day with her “troopergate” scandal. As more is reveleled about her, there is less and less support in her own state. Add to that her relationship with Ted Stevens, she may see her days as governor numbered.

  • colinjames
    October 17, 2008 - 11:21 am | Permalink

    God save us all if this woman ever becomes president, I wish she would just go away. Somewhere far, far away, like Alaska. Let em secede! j/k

  • walter JON
    November 5, 2008 - 8:11 pm | Permalink

    “meagerly gifted governor of an energy state”
    AS OPPOSED TO A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER

    HMMMMMMMM

  • walter JON
    November 5, 2008 - 8:14 pm | Permalink

    HELLO JON,

    FU YOU MARXIST BIGOT

  • STEVE RADICAL
    November 5, 2008 - 8:24 pm | Permalink

    YOU PEOPLE ON THIS BLOG NEED TO TAKE YOUR PROZAC AND COME BACK TO REALITY. WHAT EXACTLY DID OBAMA MEAN WHEN HE SAID HE WANT A CIVILIAN DEFENCE FORCE AS STRONG AS OUR MILITARY? SHADES OF THE BROWN SHIRTS????
    THE REAL FACIST(SEE WHAT THEY DID TO JOE THE PLUMBER FOR ASKING A QUESTION, USING GOVERMENT COMPUTERS SEE KELLY JONES STATE OF OHIO) RESIDE IN THE DEMOCRAT PARTY!

  • STEVE RADICAL
    November 5, 2008 - 8:37 pm | Permalink

    THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE LIKE ME OUT THERE.
    BE CAREFUL YOU DONT PUSH TO HARD WITH YOUR SOCIALIST AGENDA. AS YOU MIGHT JUST GET US PISSED OFF ENOUGH TO RESPOND. YOU DONT WANT TO WAKE UP, WHAT UP TO NOW HAS BEEN A SILENT MAJORITY. IF YOU THINK WE WILL TOLERATE USURPING THE CONSTITUTION AND THE REMOVAL OF OUR WEALTH TO “SPREAD IT AROUND” YOU TRULY ARE MORONS.

  • VLADY COMRAD
    November 5, 2008 - 8:55 pm | Permalink

    HEY PISSIto review,

    DO YOU REALLY THINK YOUR A REAL NEWS OUTLET OR ARE YOU AN ARM OF GEORGE SOROS AND THE DNC? QUESTION: DID OBAMA BUY THE PRESIDENCY? 600 MILLION,MORE THAN KERRY AND BUSH COMBINED, CONTRIBUTIONS FROM MICKEY MOUSE ETC AND YOU LOSERS DONT EVEN THINK ABOUT THAT DO YOU? WHERE DID ALL THAT MONEY COME FROM YOU NAIVE SOCIALIST. OBAMA OWES ALOT OF FAVORS FOR THAT MONEY. HIS HANDS ARE ALREADY TIED!

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *