Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image — even as others in McCain’s camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain’s decline. “She’s lost confidence in most of the people on the plane,” said a senior Republican who speaks to Palin, referring to her campaign jet. He said Palin had begun to “go rogue” in some of her public pronouncements and decisions.
I said early and often that the Palin rollout — with the McCain campaign going out of its way to keep Palin away from the media — was mishandled:
If she can’t handle a press conference, how can you argue she’s ready to be vice president? This fear-based, defensive, curl-up-inside-your-shell posture toward the press is killing the GOP. It’s insane: Treat the press like the enemy and then complain about media bias. Oh, I wish Tony Snow were still alive to explain to these “senior campaign officials” why this approach doesn’t work.
If nothing else has been gained in this campaign, at least the “Tucker Bounds School” of Republican media strategy has been exposed as the wrongheaded nonsense it is.
(Cross-posted at The Other McCain)