The Palin crap has to stop ...
Steve Schmidt spent 10 weeks building up Sarah Palin, and the two of them have spent a good part of the past 14 months tearing each other down.
A losing campaign always brings out the knives, but they are usually wielded in the shadows. The pure spectacle of a former campaign strategist going on national television to trash the candidate whose image he once stage-managed — as Schmidt did Sunday on “60 Minutes” — is virtually unprecedented.
Among Washington operatives, the response to Schmidt ranges from quiet admiration for telling uncomfortable truths to mystification that he and Palin would belabor internal disputes that in an earlier era of politics would have stayed behind closed doors.
At least a half-dozen Republican operatives declined to discuss the matter, instead voicing the plaintive hope the dispute will simply go away. But one Democrat praised Schmidt’s willingness to take a stand, even at the risk of hurting his livelihood as a California political consultant.
Schmidt has the same problem his old boss did: When a Democrat praises you, it's not a good thing. McCain thought, and still thinks, that he can be friends with a party that clearly can't relate to the position he has. Schmidt is a political opportunist, at best, and lacks the intelligence to truly use his opportunities. He's a typical Beltway poll that's numb from the brain down.
“I don’t think he has anything to gain from it. It’s not going to get Schmidt a whole lot of clients in the Republican Party, and he’s not selling a book. So it just may be that he is telling the truth,” said Paul Begala, a former Clinton White House adviser.
Begala? You're kidding me? I'd rather give a scorpion a ride across a stream than accept praise from him.
Schmidt’s comments on “60 Minutes” with the authors of “Game Change” were somewhat measured. He praised Palin for her convention speech and debate performance. But he also said there were “numerous instances” when Palin said things that weren’t correct and “that opened the door to criticism that she was being untruthful and inaccurate. And I think that that is something that continues to this day.”
He also demurred when asked whether, given a second chance, he’d advocate for the Palin pick as he did in the run-up to the Republican Party convention. “You don’t get to go back in time,” Schmidt replied, although he conceded John McCain’s margin of loss would have been greater without Palin on the ticket. ...
Untruthful? Inaccurate? Would Mr. Schmidt like to go into detail? In the rest of the piece he doesn't expand on those points. The second half of this piece deals with Palin's book, and the new book out "Game Change." But the initial page of the piece is what I'm focusing on because they give Schmidt a lot of rope to hang himself with. What's even more irritating is that he says he wouldn't change his mind on picking her, but he has no problem piling on her. At least he admits what liberals refuse to: Had McCain chosen someone else, which the book "Game Change" claims that McCain wanted Joe Lieberman, he would've lost by far more substantial numbers. Sarah Palin gave Republican voters that were continuously irritated by McCain's dalliance with Democrats a reason to vote for his ticket. What Schmidt and McCain had better get through their heads is that the Republican base is sick and tired of moderates like them. Why in the Hell would the base vote for Democrat-lite, where they don't know which way these two will jump, when voting for a Democrat the voter knows exactly what they're getting?
But Schmidt isn’t positioning himself to go as far as Morris. His primary boss in the 2008 campaign was McCain, and he hasn’t a harsh word to say about the Arizona senator. In addition, he isn’t writing a memoir of the campaign that would benefit from a bit of controversy.
“He played a real role in putting Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency. I wonder if he feels bad about it,” said Begala.
John Ziegler, a Palin ally, said Schmidt “is trying to justify an incredibly, poorly run campaign on his part. His career has been greatly damaged in Republican circles. Why would anyone hire Steve Schmidt? He’s tried to torpedo the most popular Republican that there is after running a horrendous presidential campaign.”
Ah, and therein lies the reason why the media is so set on reporting on her. She is, right now, the most popular Republican across the country. Forget the polls, folks, because the polls are easily manipulated. Practically every Republican/conservative I talk to raves about Sarah Palin. Granted, I can't gush about her the way they do, and that's because I sit back and watch as things unfold. I analyze. Is she a good conservative? You bet she is. She embodies the conservative heart that President Reagan brought to the Republican party back in 1976. And you'll all recall that when Reagan gave his speech at the '76 RNC, the delegates there realized, as he was giving that speech, that they nominated the wrong guy.
Reagan didn't leave a bitter man. He left a determined man; determined to prove to the party that his vision -- conservatism -- was the right path for the party. He left the convention dead set to prove that point, and spent the next four years not only honing his message, but preparing to make a stark contrast between the liberalism of Jimmy Carter, and embodied in the Democrat party.
Sarah Palin should be doing exactly what Reagan did. No, she's not up to speed on foreign policy. No, she's not up to speed on economics. (For the most part. As governor, she had to deal with that, but not on a national scale.) She really does need to wander in the wilderness for a few years honing her message. Whether national politics in her future means a run at the presidency or the Congress is not the question. The question is "Will she learn what she needs to learn?" I honestly think she will.
Schmidt thinks that she was the cause of their loss, and that's simply not true. McCain's campaign was a piss-poor one, at best. He spent too much time discussing how he'd work with Democrats to push forward his agenda. BIG MISTAKE!
For eight years, this nation witnessed how the Democrats constantly attacked the president. They criticized him on every front. McCain wasn't outside the bubble on this. He criticized Bush repeatedly for his war strategy. And despite being proven correct, in the long run, over Iraq, it doesn't change the fact that if you have a beef with the president, you take it up in private. If privacy isn't available, then you bite your lip, and shut the Hell up. When Eisenhower visited Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs invasion went wrong, he didn't air his differences in public. They took a walk through the Rose Garden where Eisenhower made his thoughts clear. When that meeting was over, and the cameras and microphones were on,. Eisenhower praised Kennedy for his leadership.
That's how it's done. It's that simple. You NEVER publicly question the president if you're an elected official. McCain never got that.
Schmidt, and the media critics of Sarah Palin, really need to sit down and shut up. Ripping into her serves zero purpose right now because she's not running for office. She's not even on the radar for 2012 for any serious, political prognosticator. If she does throw her hat into the ring, we wish her the best, but she'll lose, badly. All of this criticism is meant to do one thing, and one thing only -- destroy her so she's a liability to the party instead of a strength.
What people don't understand is that her strength comes from setting a fire under the base's ass. She gets people fired up. She gets them to sit up and pay attention, and right now that's an asset, not a liability. For far too long this nation has sat back, been numbed by the media, and take things the media doles out as Gospel truth.
The truth is that this nation is in a serious predicament. Unemployment -- REAL unemployment numbers -- are hovering around 20%. We have more people on welfare now than ever before. Businesses are folding across the country. Congress is spending money they don't have in numbers never before seen. The federal government now has a stake in banks, the mortgage industry, and car companies, and they're working feverishly to federalize the health insurance industry. This isn't the nation the Framers founded. If they were alive today they'd puke over what these elected leaders had done to the nation they created. Hell, I'm sure a good many of them would want some of these people in elected office charged with treason for what they had done to the nation and the Constitution. Palin is doing her best to remind people of our founding roots. She's reminding people that the federal government isn't the answer to all of our problems.
That's likely what has Schmidt ticked. She doesn't tow his line. She doesn't believe in the moderate perspective. She believes in conservatism -- the main founding ideal of America. That's her sin, and her detractors will always despise her for it.