*(Take the phrase under advisement when this fool is allowed onto the reservation.)
Jane Mayer of the New Yorker magazine, (now with more racism!) uncovers the gory details:
“During her gubernatorial campaign, (policy advisor John) Bitney said, he began predicting to Palin that she would make the short list of Republican Vice-Presidential prospects. “She had the biography, I told her, to be a contender,” he recalled. At first, Palin only laughed. But within a few months of being sworn in she and others in her circle noticed that a blogger named Adam Brickley had started a movement to draft her as Vice-President. Palin also learned that a number of prominent conservative pundits would soon be passing through Juneau, on cruises sponsored by right-leaning political magazines. She invited these insiders to the governor’s mansion, and even led some of them on a helicopter tour.”
Although the McCain-Palin campaign has trashed the media and coastal elites, the governor spent tens of thousands of dollars on east coast PR firms to promote her pipeline projects to such small-town main-street publications as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Fortune. The blogger Brickley, who originally registered the PalinforVP website, is a similarly textbook product of the big right-wing institutions: He’s attended workshops at the Young America Foundation and interned for Heritage. While Brickley was passing word around the internet, the conservative establishment was trekking north to the realm of the moose queen:
“Shortly after taking office, Palin received two memos from Paulette Simpson, the Alaska Federation of Republican Women leader, noting that two prominent conservative magazines—The Weekly Standard, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, and National Review, founded by William F. Buckley, Jr.—were planning luxury cruises to Alaska in the summer of 2007, which would make stops in Juneau.”
This motley band of assholes included National Review editor Bill “the smiling assassin” Kristol, Weekly Standard editor Fred “the dead-ender” Barnes, and Bush speechwriter Michael “Axis of Evil” Gerson. The group met with Palin for lunch at the governor’s mansion, as well as a “flight-seeing trip” along the Alaskan coast. Barnes recalled “being struck by how smart Palin was, and how unusually confident. Maybe because she had been a beauty queen, and a star athlete, and succeeded at almost everything she had done.” He also added that she was “exceptionally pretty.” Gerson called her “a mix between Annie Oakley and Joan of Arc.” Paulette Simpson of the Alaska Federation of Republican Women described the all-male, all-over-55 group as “very enamored of her.” Shortly after, Barnes’ Weekly Standard ran the first major national article on the governor. Policy Advisor Bitney attributed this first step towards national prominance to the group’s lunch date.
Senator Ted Stevens (R-Crime) later noted that “Kristol was really pushing Palin” around the DC cocktail circuit before McCain picked her. Two months before her selection, with Palin still far from the national radar, Kristol told Fox News Sunday that she would be the VP pick. In fact, Kristol harped on Sexy Sarah so shamelessly that moderator Chris Wallace asked him “Can we please get off Sarah Palin?” (Later, Kristol referred to the governor as “my heartthrob.”)
Palin also entertained other conservative elites on a second National Review cruise. Guests included the Review’s Rich “starbursts” Lowry, failed Supreme Court nominee Robert “Colonel Sanders” Bork, and Fox News’ Dick “toe-sucking” Morris.
Conservative historian* Victor Davis Hanson recalled Palin “in high heels, walking around this big Victorian house with rough Alaska floors,” and described her as “striking.” Review senior editor Jay Nordlinger was admirably direct in referring to the governer as “a real honey” in an online column.
*(I’m using “historian” guardedly.)
Two days after Palin’s selection, the excessively sleazy Morris wrote of the event: “I will always remember taking her aside and telling her that she might one day be tapped to be Vice-President, given her record and the shortage of female political talent in the Republican Party. She will make one hell of a candidate, and hats off to McCain for picking her.” Attendees recalled that Morris warned the governor that she would have to “stay an outsider” to be successful after campaigning as one.”
This was all groundwork for handing her to McCain. McMaverick wanted Lieberman, but his advisors vetoed the pick. Rove wanted Romney, but McCain and Romney never got along. Choices such as Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and former U.S. Trade Rep Rob Portman were boring and added little to the ticket. Without any good options, advisors congealed around Palin. According to David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, super-lobbyist Charlie Black told McCain: “If you pick anyone else, you’re going to lose. But if you pick Palin you may win.” (Black is a nasty, nasty character fwiw.)
The story of Palin really isn’t small-town-girl-makes-good. Rather, it’s a classic example of the Washington elite converging on a popular person and creating her via money and influence. The whole New Yorker feature is here and worth a read.