Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Campaign Carl speaks

He doesn't offer much of an explanation about why he breathlessly reported on some crazy allegations about Sarah Palin's "knowledgability" without double checking. And there's none of this backing away from his story, as Greta Van Sustern says he told her privately.

"The people who put this out, and it's senior McCain staff, are now in the cross hairs themselves for attacking the running mate, which by proxy means attacking the ticket they were trying to elect," Fox News campaign correspondent Carl Cameron, who broke some of these details the day after the election, said by phone.

From Fox News Channel, from Newsweek, from elsewhere, we know more of a strained relationship with campaign staff members who allege she didn't stick to the campaign's game plan, didn't know which countries were in NAFTA, rejected campaign efforts to prep her properly and so on.

Much of this amplifies reporting about Palin during the campaign, though the fact that so much more came out within hours of President-elect Barack Obama's victory leaves open the question of why not tell the electorate before they voted?

Cameron, who noted he dragged off-the-record material into on-the-record usefulness practically daily as needed, said it's because the sniping revealed more about the divisions within the campaign than the candidate herself.

"It grew out of criticism of the campaign from the right that they were putting Sarah Palin on ice, and the staff really resented the assertion," Cameron said. "A lot of this stuff, it's a question of: Does it ever ripen? Does it ever become relevant?"

What changed, Cameron said, was "the circular firing squad that Republicans and Democrats both go through in the aftermath of a defeat is an interesting story. And it's made more interesting by the obvious political future that Sarah Palin has. … She is not going to go away. There is a clear path for Sarah Palin right now to Iowa and New Hampshire in 2012."

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