Now that the 2008 election is over, reporters are spilling all the juciest, and previously off the record, gossip from the campaign trail. Much of it is about the infighting between Palin and McCain’s staff, as Newsweek’s treasure trove of post-election gossip reveals.
However, perhaps one of the most astounding and previously unknown tidbits about Sarah Palin has to do with her already dubious grasp of geography. According to Fox News Chief Political Correspondent Carl Cameron, there was great concern within the McCain campaign that Palin lacked “a degree of knowledgeability necessary to be a running mate, a vice president, a heartbeat away from the presidency,” in part because she didn’t know which countries were in NAFTA, and she “didn’t understand that Africa was a continent, rather than a series, a country just in itself.”
Palin was apparently a nightmare for her campaign staff to deal with. She refused preparation help for her interview with Katie Couric and then blamed her staff, specifically Nicole Wallace, when the interview was panned as a disaster. After the Couric interview, Fox News reported, Palin turned nasty with her staff and began to accuse them of mishandling her. Palin would view press clippings of herself in the morning and throw “tantrums” over the negative coverage. There were times when she would be so nasty and angry that her staff was reduced to tears.
Cameron also reports, along with CNN, that McCain’s senior foreign policy adviser was fired a week before the election for attacking, in defense of Sarah Palin, various McCain aides who he felt were undermining Palin.