In Sarah From Alaska, two campaign reporters share the behind-the-scenes story of Sarah Palin‘s rise to national stardom and surprising resignation.
On the “Early Show” on CBS, authors Scott Conroy and Shushannah Walshe said Tuesday there was a “remarkable internal war” at the end of the campaign between Palin and McCain’s teams when the VP candidate was told she could not deliver a concession speech. “Governor Palin tried to create some confusion” so that she would be able to speak, but she ultimately failed. “It really turned into an all-out civil war,” Walshe said. On election night, Palin went back out onstage to take pictures with her family and McCain’s staff was so terrified that she would give a speech after all that they turned out the lights on her.
According to a copy of the book obtained by Huffington Post, when senior McCain aide Carla Eudy heard the news, she immediately called campaign manager Steve Schmidt, who barked, “Take the set down. Unplug it.”
The McCain staff didn’t believe Palin’s claim that she just wanted to take pictures with her family on stage – to one aide, it sounded like a “dubious cover story.”
Even as the stage crew dimmed the lights, Palin and family stood there and waved at the dwindling crowd.
When she found out what was happening, an incensed Carla Eudy called [Palin advisor Jason] Recher to express her displeasure. “You never had control of her,” she said, according to Recher. “Get control of her! Get her ass off stage!”
Conroy and Walshe got copies of Palin’s undelivered concession speech (as well as her victory speech.) If [Obama] governs America with the skill and grace we have often seen in him, and the greatness of which he is capable, we’re gonna be just fine,” she planned to say. But she would also have proclaimed, “It would be a happier night if elections were a test of valor and merit alone.”
CBS has an excerpt from the book on Palin’s debate preparations. Here’s a piece:
On the heels of the first round of Katie Couric interviews, her margin for error was nonexistent. Joe Lieberman, a veteran of a previous vice presidential debate, had been brought in to give Palin an idea of what to expect. The stifling air shortened everyone’s patience, and tensions were running especially high between debate prep coordinator Mark Wallace and foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann. It was the note cards that had first led to the longstanding feud between Wallace and Scheunemann a couple of weeks earlier. One of the aides wanted Palin to memorize them, while the other thought it better for her to learn conceptually. The spat made it all the way up the chain to Steve Schmidt, who told Scheunemann in no uncertain terms that he did not have the time for bickering between staffers and that they needed to sort it out. But the two men were still fuming at one another, and negative vibes permeated the room along with the smell of greasy food.
UPDATE: Michael Hastings reports that Palin accused the two reporters who wrote “Sarah From Alaska” of “stalking” her. “The incident was a real wake up call for us — they were clearly trying to intimidate us and made it abundantly clear that they wanted us out of Alaska,” Walshe said.
The Huffington Post