This is a wonderful time for political gossip. Grind, grind that on background protect me and I'll give you dirt rumor mill! If you didn't read that Newsweek piece yesterday -- highlights from their special election project -- kick your feet up and enjoy it now. Some noteworthy snippets:
* Sarah Palin's Fashion-gate spree was a lot pricier than we thought (why didn't girl just head to H&M?): "One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family—clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books."
* More Palin-gone-rogue revelations: "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."
* This just baffles me: "At the GOP convention in St. Paul, Palin was completely unfazed by the boys' club fraternity she had just joined. One night, Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter went to her hotel room to brief her. After a minute, Palin sailed into the room wearing nothing but a towel, with another on her wet hair. She told them to chat with her laconic husband, Todd. 'I'll be just a minute,' she said."
* Obama feared the debate, and lightbulbs won't save the environment, fools: "The debates unnerved both candidates. When he was preparing for them during the Democratic primaries, Obama was recorded saying, "I don't consider this to be a good format for me, which makes me more cautious. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, 'You know, this is a stupid question, but let me â¦ answer it.' So when Brian Williams is asking me about what's a personal thing that you've done [that's green], and I say, you know, 'Well, I planted a bunch of trees.' And he says, 'I'm talking about personal.' What I'm thinking in my head is, 'Well, the truth is, Brian, we can't solve global warming because I f---ing changed light bulbs in my house. It's because of something collective'."
It's difficult to choose the best nugget from the incredibly juicy Times's story on internal battles between the McCain and Palin camps. This is my current favorite. It will probably rotate, like a song of the week:
Is that why she had tears in her eyes? Wondering...
But behind those episodes may be a greater subtext: anger within the McCain camp that Ms. Palin harbored political ambitions beyond 2008.
As late as Tuesday night, a McCain adviser said, Ms. Palin was pushing to deliver her own speech just before Mr. McCain's concession speech, even though vice-presidential nominees do not traditionally speak on election night. But Ms. Palin met up with Mr. McCain with text in hand. She was told no by Mark Salter, one of Mr. McCain's closest advisers, and Steve Schmidt, Mr. McCain's top strategist.