Palin on the leakers: "Those guys are jerks"

First day back at work for the ‘Cuda, and it wasn’t uneventful. I’m giving you two versions, the nitty gritty 90-second hit from CNN and the extended director’s cut from MSNBC. No names are named, but the hint she drops about the NAFTA smear probably having come from one of her debate preppers is as heavy as a barbell. Who was in charge of prepping her? Among others, according to Fox News: Randy Scheunemann, her chief defender, as well as … Steve Schmidt and Mark Wallace, husband of Nicolle. Hmmmm.

The MSNBC clip heats up starting at around 1:45; apparently, she and McCain have been chatting about this. Exit quotation: “I never asked for anything more than maybe a Diet Dr. Pepper every once in awhile.”

Update: Ambinder on the Romney rumors:

As one of the first reporters to sense these ill-winds, I don’t see an organized conspiracy. The first people with whom I spoke had no connection to Romney’s campaign whatsoever — they were longtime McCain advisers and aides… so…they didn’t much like Mitt Romney. When Palin was first selected, of the five Romney aides/advisers I remember contacting, three had positive impressions and two had mixed impressions.

Now, as the campaign progressed, there were people who can be fairly described as being Romney advisers who began to criticize Palin and pass along what their Republican friends were telling them. But so did consultants, strategists and activists representing every potential 2012 candidate. And other Romney advisers continued to praise her.

Who ordered the hit on Palin? Everyone, apparently.

Update: The MSNBC clip’s long but worth watching, especially the part about double standards for women candidates.