Posted on | October 5, 2010 | 37 Comments
“This is the worst sort of betrayal I’ve ever seen,” one source close to Sarah Palin said in describing the leak of an e-mail that Todd Palin sent to Joe Miller, the Alaska GOP Senate candidate.
The source noted that some of Miller’s campaign staff have connections to 2008 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, and suggested that these staffers have been advising Miller to distance himself from Palin.
Based on information in a post by notorious Alaska anti-Palin blogger Jeanne Devon, one pro-Palin source in Alaska deduced that the leak could only have come from Miller’s staff — unless Miller himself leaked the e-mail.
What was truly shocking, however, was to discover that some employee of the Miller campaign apparently thought it was a clever political strategy to leak this private communication to a liberal Democrat like Devon. Even if a Miller campaign staffer wished to embarrass Todd and Sarah Palin, why give an exclusive like this to a blogger who has made her career attacking Republicans?
But Miller’s staff has been “f–ing up everything” in recent weeks, said my source, pointing to a number of tactical and strategic blunders by the Republican campaign for which the Huckabee-connected staffers are believed to be responsible.
UPDATE II: In my haste to get this post online, I may have pulled the trigger too quickly — a hazard of the light-speed news cycle in the Internet age.
A few words have been changed, so that no one draws the wrong conclusion.
There are a couple of stories behind this story, and my sources (I have more than one) are telling me to cool my jets until this unfortunate situation can be officially clarified. But the problem of divided loyalties within the Miller campaign staff — that some Huckabee supporters are “f–ing everything up” — is dead-on accurate. For several months, I’ve been concerned that the mid-term campaign might suffer because some Republicans are looking ahead to 2012.
Miller’s supporters in Alaska are learning the hard way why I say you can’t spell Huckabee without an “F.”
UPDATE III: Give credit to Dave Weigel (who is certainly no Palin fan) for pointing out the obvious:
It’s not news that Todd Palin is — what’s a nice word? — zealous in his defense of his wife.
Indeed, and as I suggested in my American Spectator article last month, the Palins have been burned so often by “disgruntled” sources and scoop-crazed journalists that I feel kind of guilty even having to do reporting about them.
UPDATE IV: Talk about earth-shattering news! I get linked by Allapundit about as often as Aaron Sorkin says nice things about Republicans. So let’s see what He Who Seldom Linketh has to say:
The big media takeaway, obviously, is Todd Palin allegedly demanding an endorsement from Joe Miller, which supposedly points to a Palin presidential run. The way the e-mail reads to me, though, is more as an accusation of ingratitude, not an expectation of official support. . . . Miller forwarded the alleged e-mail from Todd to a number of people (their addresses are blacked out), but it looks like they’re members of his staff — and presumably one of them is either the leaker or forwarded the e-mail on to someone who leaked it to the anti-Palin blogger. The question is . . . why? Even if there are Huckabee loyalists involved in the campaign who want to trip Palin up, why create a headache for Miller by doing this now? Wait until after election day.
OK, one point at a time:
- Is this e-mail a signal that Palin is running in 2012? — The obvious answer is, “Maybe.” The GOP has for decades picked its presidential nominees according to the It’s His Turn principle and — along with Huckabee and Mitt Romney — Governor Palin can make that claim in 2012. Earlier this week, I had a conversation with my 11-year-old son Jefferson, explaining how it is that people organize presidential campaigns. And I explained that at sometime around Thanksgiving (i.e., after the election) there will be meetings at which the prospects are evaluated: “OK, if we’re running, what do we need to do now? When do we form the exploratory committee?” et cetera. Anyone with two eyes and a brain can see that Team Sarah is keeping that possibility in mind. The victories of Palin’s endorsees in GOP primaries certainly hasn’t diminished that prospect. But getting those endorsees – including Miller, Sharron Angle, Rand Paul and Christine O’Donnell – to the winner’s circle on Nov. 2 is clearly crucial.
- Did Todd Palin “demand” an endorsement from Miller? — Joe Miller was a Sarah Palin supporter before anybody outside Alaska ever heard of Sarah Palin. But, just as obviously, Todd Palin is foremost among Sarah Palin supporters, unless you expect Chuck and Sally Heath to throw Sarah under the bus. So the question expressed by the Todd-to-Joe e-mail could be best summarized in three words: “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?”
- Are there Huckabee loyalists on the Miller campaign staff? — It won’t take a clever person 10 minutes of Googling to figure this out. There are also Huckabee supporters who are volunteers and contributors to the Miller campaign.
- Did such a person leak that e-mail to “trip Palin up”? — That’s the big question, and you can imagine why some people would suspect that. There may be an innocent explanation, or perhaps somebody on the Miller staff is about to become a fresh unemployment statistic.
Now, I have never been a Mike Huckabee fan. He seems like a nice guy and is a very skilled communicator. But the two big strikes against him in my book are (a) he is too much of an open-borders softie, and (b) at a couple of points during the 2008 campaign, Huck made some atrocious class-warfare statements.
I have said that the best thing for Huckabee to do would be to spend two weeks in an intensive cram course on Austrian economics at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, disabusing himself of any inclination toward “social justice” concepts. The U.S. government is not the First Baptist Church soup kitchen, OK?
Given my profound doubts toward the Huck-for-President bandwagon, I harbor doubts about the political judgment of anyone who ever got aboard that bandwagon. So if ex-Huckabee people are “f–ing everything up” on the Miller campaign staff, I’m willing to attribute that to incompetence, rather than anti-Palin malice.
At any rate, thanks to Allahpundit for linking me. Did I mention that Wednesday is my birthday? Did y’all hit the tip yet?
UPDATE V: Ian Lazaran at Conservatives for Palin correctly observes that the e-mail destroys two favorite liberal anti-Palin memes, including this one:
That the Palins are not close. If they aren’t close, why is Todd sending out e-mails asking a candidate to endorse his wife?
Surely the Grassy Knoll theorists of Anti-Palindom will find some answer to that question which fits their Sarah-Is-Satan worldview. Some liberal bloggers are already trying to spin my reporting as if it somehow substantiates that worldview. It’s either (a) “If a pro-Palin journalist reports something, it must be false,” or (b) “If a journalist contradicts anti-Palin bloggers, he’s obviously evil.”
This is merely an extension of the problem I described in last month in “How to Write an Anti-Palin Hit Piece.” Once someone sets out in search of that “smoking gun” scandal — the silver bullet that will destroy Saran Palin — every new tidbit of information is evaluated from that perspective.