Video: “Governor Palin did nothing wrong,” says … Nicolle Wallace? Update: She’s innocent, says Chris Wallace

posted at 12:00 pm on November 7, 2008 by Allahpundit

Submitted for your approval and/or skepticism. Either she’s not the backbiter Kristol, Frum, et al. insist she is or else she’s a particularly brazen liar, willing to slobber over Palin for the Today show audience while spitting venom at her off the record. Or, third option: She saw Palin’s GOP approval ratings at Rasmussen this morning, realized that criticizing her now qualifies as a sin against conservatism, and decided at the last minute she’d best use her time with Lauer to make nice. Mission accomplished, in that case.

Meanwhile, Randy Scheunemann once again rides to the ‘Cuda’s defense:

One top McCain aide came to Palin’s defense today. Randy Scheunemann, McCain’s top foreign policy adviser, who helped prepare Palin for her vice presidential debate, praised Palin’s campaign effort and intelligence.

“I’ve been working over 20 years in Washington and I’ve been around literally dozens and dozens of politicians. She is among the smartest, toughest, most capable politicians I’ve ever dealt with,” Scheunemann said. “She has a photographic memory.”

But the tension between the Palin camp and other GOP groups is likely to continue or get worse. Lawyers for the Republican National Committee are heading to Alaska to try to account for all the money that was spent on clothing, jewelry and luggage, according to The New York Times.

I sense some people have the impression that Scheunemann is an old friend of/aide to Palin and that’s why he’s defending her. Not so: He’s been a D.C. lobbyist for years and was a foreign-policy advisor to McCain before she joined the ticket. As far as I know, they hadn’t met before she came aboard. To believe she’s a moron, you have to explain why a guy like him — with no longstanding loyalty to motivate him and with his credibility inside Washington on the line — would defend her so assiduously if what he says isn’t true. Palin-haters and Trig Truthers will point to those Rasmussen numbers and claim it’s because he wants a role in her next campaign, but he could have just as easily said nothing about her, good or bad, and still been lined up for that (especially since he’s reportedly pals with Kristol, who’ll probably be one of her biggest champions in the media for 2012). Instead, he went to such lengths to protect her reputation that he nearly got himself fired from the campaign and alienated powerful people within Team Maverick in the process. That’s a long way to go for a “moron.”

Update: David Frum notes that Chris Wallace is defending Nicolle:

I just heard Chris Wallace on the Mike Gallagher show insisting that Nicole Wallace (no relation) is innocent and that my speculations above are completely wrong. I have a lot of trust in Chris. But if (as he implies) he does affirmatively know who is doing this leaking – should he not tell his viewers? What kind of game are we playing whereby people with potentially self-serving motives can place such lethal (but not 100% credible) stories on the public record – unproven, unchallenged, and unsourced, while the people who broadcast the allegations connive in concealing the information that would allow listeners to decide for themselves how credible the allegations are?


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If Sarah is that popular with Republicans and would not stand to lose their support, why, or why didn’t the McCain campaign put Sarah in TV ads during the last week of the campaign? If I have one bone to pick with the campaign this is it.In sports you go with your best, especially at the end of the game.

technopeasant on November 7, 2008 at 2:09 PM

Assuming it wasn’t Wallace or Schmidt leaking this nonsense (both have denied it) I wonder if it was the guy who wanted Joe Dweeberman in the first place? If so, no amnesty for him. Ever.

But I’m just thinking out loud.

pugwriter on November 7, 2008 at 2:15 PM

Sarah has the kind of love from 91% of the Republican Party that a husband has for his wife. Love is blind; a good husband will fight to defend his wife’s honor to the death. Attack her more, he will get become more intense in his defense and redouble his efforts to circle the wagons around her. However if his wife ever betrays him, he will be just as passionate in taking her down. So Sarah, the moral of the story is don’t screw with the Republican base and you’ll always come out on top, gal.

technopeasant on November 7, 2008 at 2:22 PM

Every TV has an emergency cut off device. Look at the back of your Propaganda Conduit. Find the black cord with the white stripe that leads to a power outlet. Pull the cord out of the outlet with a sharp firm motion. Take the Propaganda Conduit outside. Dig a hole 4′x4′x4′. Bury the Propaganda Conduit. Now write that book you always mean to write, paint a picture or wheedle a a flute or summin.

ronsfi on November 7, 2008 at 2:27 PM

Where does the GOP go from here? We banish slimy scum like Nicole and the rest of McCain’s staff.

csdeven on November 7, 2008 at 2:42 PM

I think the moderate running McCain’s campaign know Gov Palin is one of THE rising stars in the Conservative movement and are invested in making sure the Republican party never again embraces a true Conservative.

The problem with the Moderate approach to dealing with the liberal left is that consesions always seem to be on the moderate’s side, and the left never gives an inch. People recognised the spinlessness of the moderate McCain campaign and decided to shun it.

Conservatives should likewise recognise what worked for the Liberals and never give an inch and always be on the offensive. They could take a lesson from General George Patton on his distain of having to take ground he already had which is why he never advocated holding ground and always advocated taking ground.

We need a new truely conservative set of leaders that know how to articulate the conservative message never fearing the lefts attempts to label conservatives as racist homophobes etc etc etc.

44Magnum on November 7, 2008 at 2:46 PM

I Nominate John McCain as the leaker.

It is completely consistent with his past behavior and he has not said a word to stop this nonsense. He is always very willing to criticize Republicans but not Democrats. I oft times wonder if he is just fine with Obama wining.

He was a bad choice because he is a real RINO but still better than OBama PFL.

Steveangell on November 7, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Go Romney!

cjs1943 on November 7, 2008 at 3:20 PM

Oops! Wrong thread. Don’t know how that happened.

cjs1943 on November 7, 2008 at 3:21 PM

Every TV has an emergency cut off device. Look at the back of your Propaganda Conduit. Find the black cord with the white stripe that leads to a power outlet. Pull the cord out of the outlet with a sharp firm motion. Take the Propaganda Conduit outside. Dig a hole 4′x4′x4′. Bury the Propaganda Conduit. Now write that book you always mean to write, paint a picture or wheedle a a flute or summin.

ronsfi on November 7, 2008 at 2:27 PM

Or, pick up the PC or PS3 version of “Fallout 3″ at BestBuy and immerse yourself for the next two years in a post-nuclear Washington D.C. apocalyptic world. If we are gonna cellar dwell for awhile, lets really do it.

About Sarah.

She is the most wonderful politician I can remember. However, there will be some issues where she is not 100% what we call conservative. An example would be immigration. Her veiw will be something along the lines of:

Secure borders.
Babies born here are US Citizens even if parents are here illegally.
Path to citizenship for those here illegally.
Or, they can be part of a registered workvisa program.

I agree that Amnesty is a crime against the USA. But Sarah will not run or win nationally on a platform of no immigration. She will win on a platform of secure border, workprograms/visas, no more illegals, but citizenship path for those hear already. I know here at HotAir that this is a touchy issue. Sarah will not take the extreme right position. I guarantee you, she will not. There will be no Trail of Tears if she were President, so get used to that.

Also, Sarah in Alaska works with Dems too. Get used to that.

The issue will be whether she keeps the conservatism in the platform and then persuades moderates over compared to caving in to moderates/libs like McCain and Romney and others have done.

She needs to learn fluently the Spanish language and then set up her PAC to only assist conservative candidates for 2010 Congress, along with doing interviews, speeches at many places along the conservative world.

Sapwolf on November 7, 2008 at 3:24 PM

Sarah has the kind of love from 91% of the Republican Party that a husband has for his wife. Love is blind; a good husband will fight to defend his wife’s honor to the death. Attack her more, he will get become more intense in his defense and redouble his efforts to circle the wagons around her. However if his wife ever betrays him, he will be just as passionate in taking her down. So Sarah, the moral of the story is don’t screw with the Republican base and you’ll always come out on top, gal.

technopeasant on November 7, 2008 at 2:22 PM

That is EXACTLY how I feel about her. Many of us really love her, flaws and all. But, a clear break with conservatism and I’ll have to call the divorce attorney.

Sapwolf on November 7, 2008 at 3:30 PM

Rhymes with ‘hunt’ and no relation to Al Hunt there either. Or Mike Hunt. OK, I’m done for the week. :-)

grdred944 on November 7, 2008 at 3:41 PM

Matt Lauer, Irrelevant.

Viper1 on November 7, 2008 at 3:47 PM

I remember the original lead was some “hangers on”. I’m going with some of Romney’s disappointed aides and some low lever nitwits that just tanked their careers. I’m also going for a woman less than 40 because you don’t hear your mom saying “DIVA” unless she works for MTV or the View.

Kat_Mo on November 7, 2008 at 4:01 PM

“embarrassing details are being leaked”

Not rumors, not innuendo, details. I hate matt lauer and hope one night when he’s cruising for rough trade he meets the psychopath of his dreams.

peacenprosperity on November 7, 2008 at 5:14 PM

I wonder what Wallace’s angle is here.

chiefeditor on November 7, 2008 at 5:54 PM

I’m interested to see what the rest of the clothes story is when it finally comes out. I want to think the best of Palin, and I sincerely hope that she’s not to blame for it. There’s some anecdotal evidence from Alaska that she doesn’t mind bending the rules a little to spend other people’s money (the per diems at home, the kids traveling on the state’s dime) that leaves just enough doubt in my mind to think that she could have done this. But I really, really hope that the RNC audit clears her, and names a staffer or staffers as the culprits. Cause if it doesn’t I think that leaves a cloud over her, whether she did it or not.

meltenn on November 7, 2008 at 6:22 PM

meltenn – I think you’ve been listening to the MSM too much. I will assume you have never filled out an expense report. The ‘concerns’ you have are completely bogus and actually show what an honest person does.

She opted for staying at home when possible instead of some fancy hotel, thus SAVING the state money. And how anybody can view it otherwise is either ignorance (not knowing how it works) and complete dishonesty.

TechieNotTrekkie on November 7, 2008 at 8:19 PM

Palin is the rose, McCain the thorn.

profitsbeard on November 7, 2008 at 8:56 PM

TechieNotTrekkie on November 7, 2008 at 8:19 PM

Perhaps I shouldn’t have said bending the rules. I think that that stuff was just really easy for the MSM to twist into an attack, and to plant doubts in people’s minds (And you’re right, even a little doubt in mine as I said earlier.). They’ll do the same, and already are, on the clothes thing. Because she’s a conservative she has to sort of be ridiculously above reproach in order to not get smeared, is what I meant. It’s unfair, but it’s true I think. Sorry if I wasn’t clear.

I’m relieved that there’s now a good push back on all of this from top staffers and from Palin. I think the audit will show what I hoped it would: that Palin’s innocent and some staffer is trying to pin it on her.

meltenn on November 7, 2008 at 10:47 PM

is it just me or is she a little slurred? she looked like a worn out rag to me. this chick is guilty. i feel it in my bones, folks. good as gone, Nicole!

GGGGGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SARAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Palin 2012!!

sandlin71 on November 7, 2008 at 11:05 PM

What appears to be happenning here is that reporters held background interviews with various staffers during the campaign on condition they not report the conversations until after it was over, and the staffers unwisely talked about some of the rumors and tension that was going on, telling the reporters that they were rumors.

Reporters are now repeating those rumors as “charges by campaign insiders”. (And remember there have only been 2 reports – endlessly repeated yes, but still only two reports – one by Carl Cameron and one by Newsweek).

kcewa on November 10, 2008 at 2:16 PM

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