The Obama-loving media has found a new narrative for the last full week of the campaign: Sarah Palin's not only a drag on the ticket, she's a runaway "rogue." CNN.com's Political Ticker is quoting anonymous McCain aides getting nasty:
"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."
Obviously, if this aide were named in the story, he or she would have to be responsible for these quotes, instead of hiding behind a mask. But it feeds a media voraciously in search of a storyline of how people who know they have lost behave: demoralized and pointing fingers.
The husband-wife team of John King and Dana Bash, along with Peter Hamby, are developing the internal-feuding story with relish:
The Politico reported Saturday on Palin's frustration, specifically with McCain advisers Nicolle Wallace and Steve Schmidt. They helped decide to limit Palin's initial press contact to high-profile interviews with Charlie Gibson of ABC and Katie Couric of CBS, which all McCain sources admit were highly damaging.
In response, Wallace e-mailed CNN the same quote she gave the Politico: "If people want to throw me under the bus, my personal belief is that the most honorable thing to do is to lie there."
But two sources, one Palin associate and one McCain adviser, defended the decision to keep her press interaction limited after she was picked, both saying flatly that she was not ready and that the missteps could have been a lot worse.
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."
Schmitt came to the back of the plane Saturday to deliver a statement to traveling reporters: "Unnamed sources with their own agenda will say what they want, but from Gov. Palin down, we have one agenda, and that's to win on Election Day."
Yet another senior McCain adviser lamented the public recriminations.
"This is what happens with a campaign that's behind; it brings out the worst in people, finger-pointing and scapegoating," this senior adviser said.