The teaser for Newsweek's forthcoming now-it-can-be-told special campaign report has a couple of juicy stories about Sarah Palin. The logical assumption is that McCainites have spilled the beans out of loyalty to the Maverick Man, in an attempt to restore his reputation.
But is it that simple?
Here's what Newsweek is reporting:
NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported.... 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.... 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....
We're also told that, during the Republican convention, Palin greeted Steve Schmidt and other McCain men (whom she'd barely met) in her hotel room wearing just a towel; that Palin's fiercest speeches coincided with an uptick in threats against Barack Obama; and that Palin launched the Ayers attack before the McCain campaign had worked out a strategy for bringing Ayers up.
If you think this is being said just on McCain's behalf, let me point out a New Republic blog post from October 31:
I missed this nugget a few days ago (and have no idea how reliable it is), but The American Spectator's "Washington Prowler" reported that at least some of the McCain aides who've been badmouthing Sarah Palin--including the one who offered the famous "diva" quote--are former Romney staffers:
Former Mitt Romney presidential campaign staffers, some of whom are currently working for Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin's bid for the White House, have been involved in spreading anti-Palin spin to reporters, seeking to diminish her standing after the election. "Sarah Palin is a lightweight, she won't be the first, not even the third, person people will think of when it comes to 2012," says one former Romney aide, now working for McCain-Palin. "The only serious candidate ready to challenge to lead the Republican Party is Mitt Romney. He's in charge on November 5th." ...
Some former Romney aides were behind the recent leaks to media, including CNN, that Governor Sarah Palin was a "diva" and was going off message intentionally....
And what do we have in Newsweek now? "Diva" talk (the clothes budget), "lightweight" talk (the towel), and "off message" talk (Ayers).
This isn't to say that the anti-Palin talk is just pro-Romney -- in The Guardian there's a report about a nasty Palin joke attributed to McCain in a leaked telegram from Britain's ambassador to America:
In one joke doing the rounds, the Republican presidential candidate has been asking friends: what is the difference between Sarah Palin and a pitbull? The friendly canine eventually lets go, is the McCain punchline.
Meanwhile, of course, Mitt Romney was on TV Monday and couldn't bring himself to say the McCain campaign was "dignified," even after he'd been asked three times.
So, to sum up: Romney doesn't like McCain; McCain has never seemed to like Romney; and Romney and McCain both seem to want to destroy Palin.
This is fun.