Sarah Palin “going rouge” & “diva” staffers tell CNN’s Dana Bash and John King/ Politico’s Ben Smith

When I visited Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters last summer, I left with two words on how his campaign was to be run: NO DRAMA. Some of the staffers even had the words posted in their cubes. Looks like the McCain camp could use this advice right about now.

CNN is reporting that tensions between the McCain and Palin camps are now spilling out into public view. Here are some of the highlights I found on CNN’s website after originally seeing Dana Bash’s report late Saturday night:

  • Several McCain advisers have suggested to CNN that they have become increasingly frustrated with what one aide described as Palin “going rogue.” A Palin associate, however, said the candidate is simply trying to “bust free” of what she believes was a damaging and mismanaged roll-out.
  • McCain sources say Palin has gone off-message several times, and they privately wonder whether the incidents were deliberate. They cited an instance in which she labeled robocalls — recorded messages often used to attack a candidate’s opponent — “irritating” even as the campaign defended their use.
  • “She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,” said this McCain adviser. “She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else. “Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves, as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom.”
  • They insisted that she needed time to be briefed on national and international issues and on McCain’s record. “Her lack of fundamental understanding of some key issues was dramatic,” said another McCain source with direct knowledge of the process to prepare Palin after she was picked. The source said it was probably the “hardest” to get her “up to speed than any candidate in history.”
  • “She’s no longer playing for 2008; she’s playing 2012,” Democratic pollster Peter Hart said. “And the difficulty is, when she went on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ she became a reinforcement of her caricature. She never allowed herself to be vetted, and at the end of the day, voters turned against her both in terms of qualifications and personally.”

Looks like we got us a good old family feud. It’s pretty bad when people inside the campaign are calling you a diva. I never really thought of Palin as such, but I guess that’s something that people on the inside know first. Here are some examples to think about when considering divas according to The Blurb.

  • Mariah Carey – asks for bunny rabbits, puppies, and kittens to keep her company backstage, Cristal champagne, a box of bendy straws to sip it with, and the requirement of a special attendant to take care of all her needs.
  • Britney Spears – demands a private phone line in her dressing room for outgoing calls only and fines the promoter $5,000 for any unauthorised incoming calls.
  • Jennifer Lopez – trailers furnished all in white with flowers, tablecloths, drapes, candles, and couches, a VCR and CD player, and 43 music CDs selected by her covering all the latest R&B, hip-hop, and salsa. Oh, and she also demands that her coffee be stirred counter-clockwise only.
  • Sarah Palin – I don’t know, maybe the $150,000 wardrobe, $22,000 stylist (for 2 weeks)

Actually Ben Smith at The Politico was the first one to report the whole “rouge” story.

  • “She’s lost confidence in most of the people on the plane,” said a senior Republican who speaks to Palin, referring to her campaign jet. He said Palin had begun to “go rogue” in some of her public pronouncements and decisions. “I think she’d like to go more rogue,” he said.
  • Palin’s partisans blame Wallace, in particular, for Palin’s avoiding of the media for days and then giving a high-stakes interview to CBS News’ Katie Couric, the sometimes painful content of which the campaign allowed to be parceled out over a week. “A number of Gov. Palin’s staff have not had her best interests at heart, and they have not had the campaign’s best interests at heart,” the McCain insider fumed, noting that Wallace left an executive job at CBS to join the campaign.

Not looking good for the home team. I’d advise Governor Palin to jump off the ship and save here career now before things get much worse next Tuesday. She can take the next 4 years studying up for her first national press conference (the one on Saturday Night Live doesn’t count).

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