Marc Ambinder reported this morning that there’s an anti-Palin faction developing within the McCain campaign composed, I suppose, of people who think that Mitt Romney’s deep pockets are the way to go for 2012:
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.”
By contrast, Randy Scheunemann, chief McCain foreign policy adviser, C-List neocon, and lobbyist for foreign powers, writes in to Ambinder to clarify that he agrees with me and Salter that Palin is likely to be the 2012 nominee:
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.
I think the claim that having a passing acquaintanceship with Bill Ayers is well-described as “palling around with [multiple] terrorists” is hard to defend. Of course it would be interesting to compare the number of innocent people who died violently as a result of Ayers’ actions with the number of innocent people who died violently as a result of George W. Bush’s policies. We can even restrict the Bush analysis to the number of people tortured to death in contravention of international law (“[o]ver a hundred documented deaths have occurred in these interrogation sessions”) and I’m still pretty sure Ayers comes out ahead.