Thursday, November 06, 2008
We knew Sarah Palin wasn't very bright, but now that the presidential race is over we're learning just how embarrassingly clueless she really is.
According to Fox News Political Correspondent Carl Cameron, the McCain camp was concerned about Palin's grasp of basic geography -- the kind of thing a 9th grader would have a working knowledge of -- during the campaign. In particular, she didn't know which three North American countries were in NAFTA nor did she understand that Africa was a continent and not simply a country.
Palin was also, according to reports, a kind of "Vicezilla" -- refusing to prepare for her now infamous interview with Katie Couric, then, after the interview was roundly panned and ridiculed, berating the staff who had initially offered to help her. Palin would reportedly look through press clippings and media reports of herself and throw "tantrums" over the negative coverage. Aides say she reduced some of her handlers to tears.
But it's the details gathered by Newsweek that truly stand out and provide a snapshot of a woman who considered the McCain ticket her ticket to fame and fortune. Newsweek's "Special Election Project" has gone behind the scenes of every presidential campaign dating back to 1984; its reporters amass loads of backstage material with the promise that it will remain unpublished until after the election in question is over.
This year's Special Election Project is now releasing its report from the Obama-McCain race, and one segment of it paints a picture of Sarah Palin as little more than opportunistic white trash riding the gravy train as far as it would take her and her family.
"NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain's top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family—clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books."
I think it's coming out long before then.