Sarah Palin famously claimed she had "absolutely no diva in me," but former McCain aides did their best to demolish that assertion in a super-juicy Thursday Times story. Among their embittered, anonymous and still entirely plausible claims: They budgeted the Republican vice presidential nominee around $25,000 for clothes and were shocked at her $150,000 shopping spree; Palin wrote a concession speech that she desperately wanted to deliver Tuesday night; and she never told McCain about a call she thought she had scheduled with the president of France (really a DJ prank). Now they're talking about sending lawyers to audit her family's closets and just generally trying to destroy her chances of running for anything anywhere, ever. Here's what they told the Times about Palin's clothes shopping:
On Wednesday, two top McCain campaign advisers said that the clothing purchases for Ms. Palin and her family were a particular source of outrage for them. As they portrayed it, Ms. Palin had been advised by Nicolle Wallace, a senior McCain aide, that she should buy three new suits for the Republican National Convention in St. Paul in September and three additional suits for the fall campaign. The budget for the clothes was anticipated to be from $20,000 to $25,000, the officials said.
Instead, in a public relations debacle undermining Ms. Palin's image as an everywoman "hockey mom," bills came in to the Republican National Committee for about $150,000, including charges of $75,062 at Neiman Marcus and $49,425 at Saks Fifth Avenue. The bills included clothing for Ms. Palin's family and purchases of shoes, luggage and jewelry, the advisers said.
Palin's alleged behavior sounds, either by the designs of her enemies or by the logical progression of events, like the mistakes of a rookie politician. You just do not go wasting the Republican Party's hard-earned donations on overfancy clothes and jewelry and so forth, as Richard Nixon learned 56 years ago. If you want to be fancy, you wait until you're elected and then "borrow" haute couture for free, just like Nancy Reagan did. And you certainly don't go loading up at the expense-account buffet on behalf of your family. (Unless that's exactly what the McCain campaign encouraged you to do, which is what we may well be told tomorrow.)
Also, VP candidates do not give concession speeches. Doesn't work that way. Palin was apparently told this and still insisted on bringing a copy of her speech with her Tuesday night.
The Times also addressed allegations that the McCain people were upset Palin did not adequately prepare for her disastrous interview with CBS' Katie Couric, as reported Wednesday on Fox News. There is indeed anger over the lack of preparation , according to the Times' source, but it's not like Palin refused any prep; she just didn't have time amid cramming for her big PR trip to the UN.
A shitstorm of bickering between the McCain and Palin camps has erupted within 24 hours of the Republican ticket's defeat — this story in the Times and the thing about Palin not knowing her continents, via Fox News. Just imagine the terrible mud reporters will find once they have time to really start turning over rocks!