I really didn’t want to give this the time of day, but decided to address it.  60 Minutes interviewed the authors of a new book, Game Change and former McCain Campaign top campaign strategist, Steve Schmidt to discuss the 2008 Presidential Race.  They spent 13 minutes discussing this book.  John Ziegler pointed out what a joke this segment was, especially seen in time spent on various topics within the campaign:

The segment on the book was just under thirteen minutes long. About eleven of those were spent discussing the losing side’s Vice Presidential candidate. About seven minutes were used interviewing the strategist for the losing the campaign and allowing him to take unsubstantiated pot shots at the aforementioned VP candidate. Less than two minutes was used on the current Secretary of State’s bid to be the actual President. Virtually zero seconds were given to the campaign of the current President. Literally zero seconds were devoted to brand new and startling revelations in “Game Change” regarding scandals involving John and Elizabeth Edwards and Harry Reid.

Well not spending any time on Obama’s controversies or Democratic controversies seems to be par for the course with the media today.  Steve Schmidt for his part seems to be doing a great job destroying his own career, so why bother giving him an extra push off the proverbial cliff?  Schmidt represents what is wrong about the GOP.

The only thing I can agree with what he said was that the loss would have been worse without her.  Yet, Dan Riehl points out that they were committed to pursuing a losing strategy with their VP pick until the last minute:

Look at the basic facts even Schmidt is forced to confess. He would make it seem as though Palin was the absolutely worst thing about the McCain campaign, then he turns around and admits that, without her, things would have been much worse. That makes no sense.

On top of that, the fools running the campaign, including Schmidt, continued to consider Joe Lieberman for VP up until the very last minute, absolutely without realizing what a disaster that would have been. It took reactions outsidethe campaign to finally give them a clue how foolish they were in formulating and managing the campaign. Now suddenly, Schmidt is the all wise and wonderful know it all with the reputation, intellect and credibility to dump on Palin yet once, again? That makes no sense, either.

No it doesn’t.  Let me give you some perspective from Iowa.  Here is what I learned from two former Iowa McCain/Palin Campaign staffers.  Because of campaigns they are currently involved with I’m keeping them anonymous.  Here’s what I learned:

  • “Steve Schmidt was an absolute nightmare.”
  • “Incompetent”
  • “We McCainiacs (people around from the beginning) never felt like he had McCain’s best interest in mind.”
  • “Was never around, and once (when in Iowa) disappeared for three days and we were unable to get a hold of him.”
  • “Let his personal positions get in the way of the campaign.”
  • “Did not have a clue about Iowans.” (demonstrated by canceling a hunting photo op with Palin without explanation and said, “Iowans won’t care about that”)

This doesn’t paint a picture of competence.  Schmidt is not credible, he ran a horrible campaign and is trying to cover his butt.

So please do us a favor Schmidt, shut up and never, ever go near a campaign ever again.  Unless it’s a Democrat’s campaign; that would be all right.

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    1. @Gina, I doubt he read it since it didn’t have an index after all.

      She was way more charitable to him than he has ever been to her. She could have grilled him big time, and I think if people were looking for that in the book would have been disappointed.

      He simply has no class, and I’ll be surprised to see him run a campaign again. I like what Glenn Reynolds said about this:

      Today, a new ethos has arisen: cash in, write a book, trash other people’s books, cover your own backside, even at the expense of your ex-candidate. Unfortunately, this is the school Schmidt has enrolled in.” Two questions: (1) Why don’t candidates make people sign nondisclosure agreements? and (2) Does Schmidt expect to get more work now? From whom, exactly?


  1. Shane,

    Thanks for posting this. I know that here in Virginia, the statewide campaign was basically being run by moderate loyalists in the mold of Schmidt. Locally, our congressman who was running for reelection had an office in Danville, Virginia, at first the office served as a solid place that people could go to get GOP resources for the campaign. However, McCain staff came in and vacated all presidential material and refused to coordinate with an incumbent congressman. The congressman’s crime? He did not support McCain until he was nominated at the convention.

    The result? McCain barely won my district and my congressman lost reelection by the closest margin in the country.

  2. I’d go as far as to pin the loss on Steve Schmidt who did nothing to counter the media smear campaign that Obama was throwing at Palin. If they had done their homework, they would have dug up the stuff Obama did to Hillary and used it as an example of how the Obama campaign operates.

    Hamstringing Palin was the worst possible move. Of course he’s going to say bad things about her because she wasn’t playing his little game.

    A professional would have kept his mouth shut and protected the reputations of all involved in the campaign.

  3. I read in a document describing the McCain campaign staff, that S. Schmidt was a Karl Rove protege; I wonder whether this is so, and if yes whether he still is.

    From the beginning of the end (around Sept 15, 08) it became clear that Schmidt and N. Wallace were the Trojan Horses inside the McCain campaign. Apparently, the only one who couldn’t see this was McCain.

  4. And a final point: regarding the “vetting” of Sarah Palin, in retrospect, and knowing what we now know, it seems likely that Schmidt thought then (July 08) that Sarah Palin was going to be a “disaster” for the campaign, and that is exactly why he recommended her to McCain. Too bad, he was so wrong about her.

  5. I’m finishing up Sarah’s book, Going Rogue, and actually am at end of the campaign nightmare. Unbelievable! How the McCain campaign thought they could win with Schmidt’s strategy is mind-blowing. They might have actually had a chance had they listened to Sarah a few times. She had some great ideas, and unlike Schmidt, she does know the people.
    .-= Dominique´s last blog ..The Spoon Theory =-.

Comments are closed.

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