Rove And Kristol Fault Disloyal, Ill-Serving Campaign Staff For McCain’s Struggles

Today, the New York Times Magazine features a long article about the infighting and finger-pointing within the McCain campaign. Yesterday, reports surfaced that Gov. Sarah Palin is a “diva” who “takes no advice from anyone” and might be going “rogue.” Meanwhile, more and more conservatives are trying to separate themselves from Sen. John McCain with as much speed as they distance themselves from President Bush.

Today on Fox News Sunday, “master strategist” Karl Rove joined the finger-pointing, blaming the McCain staff for being “undisciplined” and expressing insufficient “loyalty” for McCain:

ROVE: We saw it in the Clinton campaign, and now we’re seeing it in the McCain campaign, where before the election is totaled up, before the votes are all cast, before the decision is made, people start pointing fingers and blaming each other. It is a sign of undisciplined people who do not have the loyalty that they ought to have to the candidate whom they’re serving. And it’s — it’s a sad sight to see. Nobody makes themselves look good by this process.

Later in the show, right-wing columnist Bill Kristol blamed McCain staffers for “ill-serving” Palin by mishandling the story about spending $150,000 on new designer clothes for her. “The staff has not served her well by hiding her and not having confidence,” he said. Watch both clips here:

It makes sense that Kristol is trying to direct blame onto staffers and away from Palin: after all, McCain insiders have credited Kristol with convincing them to go with Palin to begin with. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer said Kristol was “the most ardent promoter” of Palin, repeatedly talking up her electoral prowess on Fox News and urging McCain to choose her for vice president.

Some recent polls have shown her selection to be a bigger drag on McCain’s campaign than Bush.