McCain Faces Internal "Palin Insurgency"

McCain Faces Internal "Palin Insurgency"

Politico's Ben Smith reports on the internal tensions that are roiling the McCain campaign, with many Palin allies voicing their unhappiness at how the campaign has been run. According to Smith, there are now "stirrings of a Palin insurgency." Some of the highlights:

Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image -- even as others in McCain's camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain's decline.

"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.[...]

Anger among Republicans who see Palin as a star and as a potential future leader has boiled over because, they say, they see other senior McCain aides preparing to blame her in the event he is defeated.

"These people are going to try and shred her after the campaign to divert blame from themselves," said a McCain insider, referring to McCain's chief strategist, Steve Schmidt, and to Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush aide who has taken a lead role in Palin's campaign.

"A number of Governor Palin's staff have not had her best interests at heart and they have not had the campaign's best interests at heart," fumed the McCain insider, noting that Wallace left an executive job at CBS to join the campaign."

Palin's favorability ratings have taken a hit recently, and the Washington Post reported Saturday that its latest poll shows the majority of Americans now have a negative impression of Palin.

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