Sarah Palin Throws Her Scientologist Adviser Under the Bus

Scientologist macher John Coale hatched a crazy plan to forge an alliance between Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, Politico reported this morning. In a rare—solitary?—display of good judgment, Palin turned him down.

Coale proposed the idea in February, while tagging along with his wife, Fox News' Greta van Susteren, to Alaska to shoot a promo for the Palins. He wanted Palin's political action committee—the creation of which Coale had masterminded—to make a symbolic $5,000 donation to the Clinton campaign to help her retire her debt.

Coale also tried to set up a meeting between Palin and Bill Clinton, which seems like an insane thing to do if the idea was to get Hillary to like Sarah. The meeting never took place, which is just as well, because the Palins are preposterously fertile and she would almost certainly have gotten pregnant.

After repeated nudging by Coale, who describes the Alaska governor as a friend, Palin directed a staffer to turn him down via e-mail: "While we appreciate your efforts and recognize that a friendship with the Clintons is appropriate, the governor believes (and I concur) that using SarahPAC to pay down Hillary's debt is not a prudent use of the money. Contributors who chose between heating their homes and sending in a contribution because they believe in Sarah would be crushed."

Politico's account certainly looks like a deliberate attempt by Palin to distance herself from Coale—whose history of attempting to infiltrate and co-opt the political system on behalf of Scientology might make the Republican Party's Christian base uncomfortable—and from van Susteren, whose close relationship with the Palins has been attracting some unwanted attention of late. The story obviously came from the Palin camp: Her aides are quoted on the record speaking dismissively of Coale and seem to have provided Politico with e-mails, and Coale comes out looking like a bumbling dreamer with no political acumen. The story also blames Coale, by implication, for a series of scheduling snafus shortly after the election in which Palin accepted mainland speaking engagements and, after being accused of trying to spend too much time in the spotlight and not enough in Alaska, reneged on them.

Indeed, the story describes Coale as a "onetime" adviser to Palin in the lead. Ouch!