Fascinating Newsweek article (in which Palin goes rogue and Obama says the F-word)

Newsweek has a very intriguing article out today detailing some inside dope on both the McCain and the Obama campaigns that they’d been holding back until after the elction. The bit that’s likely to get the most play is this item on the Palin shopping spree dirt:

To me, though, the most interesting tibit is this small item about Obama expressing his thoughts on debate prep:

I love that (unspoken) answer and almost wish he’d actually said it during that debate. I not only find it amusing to get a glimpse into what’s really going through his head when he sometimes gives those halting, carefully deliberate answers to questions, I’m also heartened to know that what’s going on under the surface is even sharper and more incisive (not mention wittier), than we we see on top.

How will this article affect public perceptions for any of the candidates? I don’t think there’s anything really damaging to anyone but maybe Palin (McCain actually comes off as fairly decent).

Diogenes My wife and I tend to give a lot of import to clothing choices. I think the choice of the bold reds on the Obama family last night shows that Obama is going to be bold now, whereas he tried to be staid to win the election.

Thanks for the link, Diogenes. If I remember correctly, Newsweek did a similar piece on the Bush/Gore campaigns after that election, and it was really an interesting read. (It’s been a while, so I may be misremembering the publication or the election year, but I distinctly remember reading about some of the behind-the-scenes stuff going on in W’s campaign and being nauseated by it.)

My picks for “most interesting”:


Among the other revelations from the special project:

The Obama campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October, at the same time that many crowds at Palin rallies became more frenzied. […]

On the Sunday night before the last debate, McCain’s core group of advisers—Steve Schmidt, Rick Davis, adman Fred Davis, strategist Greg Strimple, pollster Bill McInturff and strategy director Sarah Simmons—met to decide whether to tell McCain that the race was effectively over, that he no longer had a chance to win. The consensus in the room was no, not yet, not while he still had “a pulse.” […]

Palin launched her attack on Obama’s association with William Ayers, the former Weather Underground bomber, before the campaign had finalized a plan to raise the issue. McCain’s advisers were working on a strategy that they hoped to unveil the following week, but McCain had not signed off on it, and top adviser Mark Salter was resisting.

McCain also was reluctant to use Obama’s incendiary pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, as a campaign issue. The Republican had set firm boundaries: no Jeremiah Wright; no attacking Michelle Obama; no attacking Obama for not serving in the military. McCain balked at an ad using images of children that suggested that Obama might not protect them from terrorism. Schmidt vetoed ads suggesting that Obama was soft on crime (no Willie Hortons). And before word even got to McCain, Schmidt and Salter scuttled a “celebrity” ad of Obama dancing with talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres (the sight of a black man dancing with a lesbian was deemed too provocative).

I am starting to regain some respect for McCain.

… that would be hot. They’d look great together.

I love this:

I never thought I’d say this, but from the bottom of my heart, thank you Steve Schmidt. Thank you.

Fascinating indeed. Thank you Diogenes!

mswas, I am highly skeptical of your data source, though your conclusions may very well be valid. I sure hope Obama isn’t paying attention to his clothes. It seems absurdly trivial.

You sound like you think any part of his campaign was accidental. I mentioned in another thread that Ike and the other architects of D-Day would be impressed by Obama’s organizational skills. There is no way that the choice of red, while he was speaking about national reconciliation, was an accident.

Saw it. They did.

My favorite part of that article was the story of Palin meeting party representatives clad only in a towel. Class act ya got there, dontcha know. LBJ would be so proud!

Umm, symbolism in clothing is a very old tradition. The way you wear your suit has a lot of meaning behind it. I bet Obama knows of those meanings.

Hoping Obama doesn’t pay attention to his clothes is hoping that he’s an idiot. No one who appears on television should be ignorant of such things.

How you can see the most media savvy President in history and hope he doesn’t think about his clothing, is an incredible disconnect for you.

Politics is theater.

Does anybody else find this a bit chilling?

That people are going to use more and more complex methods of discovering the political will of the populace?

Get used to it, that’s the reality of the 21st century. We all do it. How much time did you spend at fivethirtyeight.com?

I find it awesome. Some of my job involves data mining and finding stuff in data that tells you things otherwise impossible to discover. An Administration who really gets this is going to be able to do wonderful things. For one, I hope they get the FBI to finally get their broken computer system to work.

Why? All they’re doing is finding out whether registered voters’ names have been crossed off the roles as having voted already. What’s wrong with that?

Before and up through the 2000 election, I always thought McCain was among the more honorable politicians in Washington. I’ve kind of lost that feeling recently, as it seemed that McCain would sell his soul to get elected, and it’s kinda comforting that he didn’t quite become a total Rove.

Nothing, of course, it being in the public record and all. And it’s something that anyone who is concerned about voting irregularities would applaud, I should think.

That sounds very human, I’m glad to hear it. Thanks for posting, Diogenes.

I admit it. I actually thought Obama was maybe one of those people who doesn’t curse.

I know I know.


That article speaks very well of McCain, and while he comes across as a man of principles (something I seriously doubted), albeit misguided and undisciplined and obviously not in charge of his own campaign.

Palin, on the other hand, is shown in a harsher light than before. That woman seriously lacks a sense of morals.

That’s not what it said. It said people ‘waiting in line at the polls’. They hadn’t voted yet. So how did they identify them? How did they match up somebody standing in line with a voter registration? Did they take pictures when they registered the voters? Did they ask the person in line for their personal information?

And it was being used by ‘flushers’ to round up people. If you hadn’t gotten crossed of the list, they presumably must have called, stopped by the house, whatever, and cajoled you into the poll station.