Nicolle Wallace, the campaign aide Palin blames for her disastrous Couric interview and other crises, struck back on The Rachel Maddow Show last night. And, holy crap, did she tear Sarah a new one.
Wallace—a Bush-era attack dog whose career highs include helping orchestrate the John Kerry flip-flop smear—was the staffer the McCain camp charged with keeping track of Palin. As predicted, she bears much of Palin's Going Rogue wrath, second only to openly hostile McCain adviser Steve Schmidt. Though Sen. McCain personally asked staffers to keep media exposure to a minimum during Palin's media blitz, Wallace gave an on-the-record interview to The Rachel Maddow Show (though declined to go on the air). It's the middle portion of this clip, and it's a doozy:
First, Wallace deconstructs Palin's claim that Wallace pushed her into the Katie Couric interview as a favor to boost Couric's "low self-esteem":
The whole notion there was a conversation where I tried to cajole her into a conversation with Katie [Couric] is fiction. ... I am not someone who throws around the word 'self-esteem.' It is a fictional description. Katie Couric was selected because we did evening anchors.
Regarding Palin's claim on The Oprah Winfrey Show that no one prepped her for the interview because it was supposed to be a "lighthearted, fun, working mom speaking with working mom" thing:
We set up this interview on the day of the U.N. General Assembly, with a walk-and-talk in front of the U.N. It was never made as two 'working gals.' It's either rationalization or justification or fiction. That was supposed to highlight her foreign policy savvy [in the context of] the U.N. General Assembly. The picture is in front of the U.N. to highlight her expertise and readiness to be vice president—it wasn't about two 'working gals.'
Note that Palin didn't actually use the phrase "working gals." Rather, Wallace combines Palin's words with even dumber ones, heightening the sense that the Thrilla from Wasilla is totally off her rocker. This is a patented right-wing rhetorical tactic (think "death panels") and we should all use it more often. But back to the matter at hand:
What she gets wrong is this personalization that [Steve] Schmidt and I were these lone villains—and that took place entirely in her imagination. ... I think she fixated on me from very early on. She hated me from the beginning. I try not to take it personally, the fact that she wrote a book based on fabrications. She gave a brilliant convention speech—other interviews that inspired support. But this book is a bizarre fixation on things that everyone else has moved on from.
And that is the story of how neocon PR warlord Nicolle Wallace won the begrudging respect of MSNBC liberals. Looks like the real uniter was Sarah Palin, after all. That, and the fact that no one gives a shit about Katie Couric's feelings.