Authors: McCain aides worried that Palin was ‘mentally unstable’
It’s a perfect storm for former lawmaker Sarah Palin.
A book due out this week by political journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin has all the right politicos sweating and backpedaling, from John McCain to the Senate majority leader, and even Bill and Hillary Clinton.
But in “Game Change“, it’s Palin who really takes it on the nose.
According to an advance copy thoroughly dog-ear’d by The New York Times, some McCain staffers who worked directly with Palin began to worry that she could be “mentally unstable.”
After her misstatements and outright lies repeatedly caused the campaign to stumble and backpedal, a discussion began to emerge: Were McCain to win, how best could they relegate her “to the largely ceremonial role that premodern vice presidents inhabited”?
After all, “it was inconceivable,” they wrote, “if McCain fell ill or died, the country be left in the hands of a President Palin,” according to the Times.
The book also claims she almost completely neglected preparing for her debate with Vice President Joe Biden, and couldn’t even pronounce his name correctly, calling him “O’Biden” repeatedly.
They instead encouraged her to ask, “Can I just call you Joe?”
The former lawmaker is also being targeted by McCain’s top political strategist, who gave a tell-all interview to “60 Minutes”.
“There were numerous instances that she said things that were – that were not accurate that ultimately, the campaign had to deal with,” said Steve Schmidt. “And that opened the door to criticism that she was being untruthful and inaccurate. And I think that is something that continues to this day.”
In the interview, Schmidt points to an Alaska report on the so-called “Troopergate” scandal. The report, covered extensively by RAW STORY, illustrated how Palin abused her power as Alaska’s governor by helping ensure a public safety commissioner would be fired following a family dispute.
“She went out and said, you know, ‘this report completely exonerates me,'” Schmidt told CBS. “And in fact, it didn’t. You know it’s the equivalent of saying down is up and up is down.”
Schmidt said that ultimately, Palin helped McCain rather than hurt him, according to Politico.
“I believe, had she not been on the ticket our margin of defeat would’ve been greater than it would’ve been otherwise,” he reportedly said.
This video is a preview of a CBS News interview set to air Jan. 10, 2010.