Jonathan Martin filed a story today on Sarah Palin's dysfunctional operation. Wow has she ticked off many GOPers by fickleness, elusiveness and being so paranoid she only has one staffer to deal with other campaigns. I liked this detail:
In some, but not all, cases, Palin charges campaigns for travel expenses. Georgia Republican gubernatorial hopeful Karen Handel, for example, shelled out nearly $100,000 from her campaign account to get Palin for a pre-runoff rally earlier this year. “I don’t know of anyone else who does that,” said a longtime GOP consultant who’s working on a host of statewide races this election cycle.
Jonathan Bernstein's wonders:
Why are Republican operatives feeding negative stories about Palin to Politico two weeks before the midterm elections? I certainly don't know, but that's my first reaction when I read the story.
Are they trying to deflate her as a 2012 contender? If so, is it because other candidates have friends around the country? Could be. Is it because many GOP insiders read the polls, and think she's poison for the party? Could be. Is it because Republicans are at heart hierarchical and traditional, and just really can't stomach this crazy person...ahem, this crazy woman, from nowheresville, who just doesn't look like what they think a President of the United States should look? I don't know.
I thought it was certainly very interesting that Chuck Grassley's campaign was identified by name; Grassley has an easy reelection bid right now and doesn't have to face a primary for six years, so he's pretty safe from retribution, and he may be reminding not just Palin but all prospective candidates to pay proper fealty to him as the caucuses approach. Don't forget the obvious possibility that perhaps it's just straightforward: she really does have an incompetent operation, which has repeatedly burned and angered so many people that it's produced a subset willing to talk to a good, aggressive, reporter. Again, could be.
The point is that when reading these stories, always think about why people talk to reporters, and why these particular sources talked to this reporter about this particular topic.
Most are probably just tearing their hair out the way almost everyone does when trying to deal with her. But I suspect a few of them are beginning to realize that the tiger they have been riding could very well be having them for breakfast tomorrow. I'd also wager that if her star fades, these stories will multiply. Because the one thing preventing the full truth about this fraud from coming out is fear of her base star-power.
(Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty.)