There’s a fascinating study in animal human nature happening in the political blogosphere as the vanquished staffers from the McCain-Palin ticket openly tussle about who sold-out whom. Steve Schmidt, who gained a reputation as a somewhat moderate voice in the GOP when he spoke out in favor of gay marriage, is defending himself against accusations that he leaked worries about Sarah Palin’s “mental state” to Vanity Fair reporter, and master of the brutal news making hit piece, Todd Purdum.
Todd Purdum’s piece about Sarah Palin in Vanity Fair has ripped a Band-Aid off the wounds of the McCain-Palin campaign, and it’s not a pretty sight:
Politico tells the McCainPalin-camp in-and-out-flighting tale:
William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and an informal adviser to Palin, complained publicly about a Purdum passage in Vanity Fair’s August issue about “some top aides” who had worrie about the Alaska governor’s “mental state” during the 2008 campaign, suggesting the Alaska governor may be suffering from post-partum depression following the birth of her son Trig. “In fact, one aide who raised this possibility in the course of trashing Palin’s mental state to others in the McCain-Palin campaign was Steve Schmidt,” Kristol wrote.
Schmidt’s reply, via Politico: “I’m sure John McCain would be president today if only Bill Kristol had been in charge of the campaign…
“Categorically false,” Schmidt added: “His allegation that I was defaming Palin by alleging post-partum depression at the campaign headquarters is categorically untrue. In fact, I think it rises to the level of a slander because it’s about the worst thing you can say about somebody who does what I do for a living.”
But wait: Randy Scheunemann, a longtime foreign policy adviser to McCain and close Kristol, tells Politico:
“Steve Schmidt has a congenital aversion to the truth, On two separate and distinct occasions, he speculated about about Gov. Palin having post-partum depression, and on the second he threatened that if more negative publicity about the handling of Gov. Palin emerged that he would leak his speculation [about post-partum depression] to the press. It was like meeting Tony Soprano.”
Schmidt on Scheunemann: “Categorically untrue.
“It is inappropriate for me to discuss personnel issues from the campaign,” Schmidt added. “But suffice it to say Randy is saying these things not because they’re true but because he wants to damage my reputation because of consequences he faced for actions he took.”
This is an allusion to stories that Scheunemann had been fired by the campaign. To which Scheunemann said they had tried to fire him but: “”I’ve got a pay stub through Nov.15th.”