Tip of the Iceberg: There May be Much More on Sarah Palin We Have Yet to Hear


sara palin wave.jpg
Bill Kristol says that he was off on a conservatives-only cruise to Alaska to see glaciers and icebergs when he discovered the high sizzle Murkowski-slayer Sarah Palin.
Well, from this Newsweek piece, it seems that we have perhaps only seen the “tip” of the iceberg on Palin gossip:

NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin’s shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain’s top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family–clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.
According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent “tens of thousands” more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as “Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast,” and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.

— Steve Clemons


21 comments on “Tip of the Iceberg: There May be Much More on Sarah Palin We Have Yet to Hear

  1. Edwin says:

    Thank you very much for your post. Absolutely excellent information and very useful for me. Great done and keep posted. Looking forward to reading more from you.


  2. Sally N says:

    With so many other things to worry about who can seriously care about Palin’s shopping…really! you should drop this nonsense already.


  3. rich says:

    Jeez. Put on your Skeptic’s Cap. This is Carl Cameron of FOX, not exactly known for reality-based reporting, claimig Sarah Palin didn’t know Africa was a continent. This stuff is coming from inside the McCain & McAbel HQ, who just ran one of the most lie-based campaigns in history.
    You really ready to swallow all their spin?
    Worth noting from TPM, below –.
    I May Be Stupid But I Ain’t Dumb
    TPM Reader RR is skeptical of the latest Palin leaks …
    “I find all this kind of amusing, but I’m skeptical of the veracity of some of these charges. Here’s why:
    1. The obvious point that in a losing campaign, many folks will try to throw blame around and hope none of it’s stink gets on them;
    2. Even with Mrs. Pale-in-Comparison being galactically uninformed and generally ditzy, it’s hard to believe she thought the whole of Africa was one country or that South Africa was in fact a country and not a region; and
    3. These guys in the McCain camp (whatever faction of it) have been unabashedly lying each and every day for months now, and feverishly projecting their own failures and shortcomings onto their adversary.
    Why the hell should anyone believe them now?
    It all amounts to good entertainment, in a macabre, schadenfreudey way, but really the woman has no real future in national politics, no matter what the Limbaugh/Hannity/Perkins wing of the GOP says. A Palin 2012 shot will be a repeat of Rudy 2008.”
    As a big of an ignoramus as Palin clearly is, and as big a liar, I’m more than a little skeptical myself.
    –Josh Marshall


  4. pauline says:

    “Something Smells Very Fishy in Alaska”
    Turnout Rate Reported as Lowest Ever in State, Down 11% From ’04 Even With Both Palin and Obama on the Ballot
    Hanging in the Balance in the Diebold State: Felon Ted Stevens’ U.S. Senate Race, Corrupt Don Young’s House Race & Much More…
    Guest blogged by Shannyn Moore
    ANCHORAGE – Something stinks. Not just an ordinary low tide smell. Not like something you’d blame on the dog. It smells like an infection. For me to plug my nose, I’d have to overlook some curious facts.
    In Alaska, more people voted for George W. Bush in 2004 than for Sarah Palin on Tuesday despite an identical 61-36 margin of victory. Yes. Only four years ago 54,304 Alaskans got off their sofas and voted for Bush, but decided to sit home and not vote for Palin in 2008.
    In turn, I have to ignore the 30,520 Alaskans who felt progressive enough in 2004 to vote for John Kerry, but weren’t inspired enough to get out and vote for Barack Obama.
    I would have to glance past the 1,700% increase in the Democratic caucus in February, the 20,991 newly registered voters, and the three largest political rallies in Alaska’s history.
    I would also have to forget the people I stood in a long line with to early vote. It would be helpful not to know every other presidential election since Alaska began keeping records has had a larger turn out than the one we just had with our own Governor on the ticket. Try not to remember 12.4% more Alaskans showed up for the August primary as compared to four years ago, before the Palin nomination. Don’t think about the Lower 49’s record voter turn out this year either. Try to delete the memory file, though difficult, that 80% of us approved of Sarah Palin just two months ago.
    And as if all of that doesn’t stink enough, we still don’t know who won the Ted Stevens U.S. Senate race, the Don Young U.S. House, or even the race for Mayor of Anchorage and most curiously, why turnout this year was down 11% from 2004, even with Alaska’s own previously-popular Governor on the ticket, and passions for Obama here and everywhere else, extraordinarily high…
    Something stinks. You don’t care? Obama won. Yes. He. Did! Free at Last! Wait. Democracy demands all of the votes be counted…if you can find them.
    In the balance hangs the fate of Alaska’s Senate and House seats. We still don’t know if we have elected the now convicted felon Ted Stevens, or Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. We still don’t know if Don Young and his million dollar legal problems will defeat former State Representative Ethan Berkowitz and his dreams of Washington DC. Alaska hasn’t had a Democrat represent us in Congress since Mike Gravel lost his senate seat in 1980.
    Four years ago, 313,592 out of 474,740 registered voters in Alaska participated in the election — a 66% turnout. Taking into account 49,000 outstanding ballots, on Tuesday 272,633 out of 495,731 registered Alaskans showed up at the polls; a turnout of 54.9%. That’s a decrease of more than 11% in voter turnout even though passions ran high for and against Obama, as well as for and against Sarah Palin! This year, early voters set a new record. As of last Thursday, with 4 days left for early voting, 15,000 Alaskans showed up-shattering the old record set in 2004 by 28%!
    Consider the most popular governor in history-and now the most polarizing-was on the Republican ticket. Consider the historic nature of this race; the first African American presidential candidate EVER! The second woman to ever make a presidential ticket; and she’s one of our own. Despite that, we’re supposed to believe that overall participation DECREASED by 11%. Not only that, but this historic election both nationally and for Alaska HAD THE LOWEST ALASKA TURNOUT FOR A PRESIDENTIAL RACE EVER!!! That makes sense. REALLY??? Something stinks.
    But wait, there’s more…
    Pre-election polls had both Mark Begich-D and Ethan Berkowitz-D solidly beating incumbents Senator Ted Stevens and Congressman Don Young by at least 6-10 points.
    Stevens is currently ahead of Begich by 3,353 votes with 49,000 ballots left to count. While Berkowitz is behind Young by 16,887 votes; a 51-43 margin. Are we to believe Don Young came from an 8 point average polling deficit to win by 8 points-a whopping 16 point turnaround???
    Remember how historic the pundits thought Hillary Clinton’s come from behind New Hampshire Primary victory was? She trailed Barack Obama by 9% in the pre-primary polls and ended up winning by 2 points. It was called the most “stunning comeback in political history.” On Election Night, Don Young topped Hillary Clinton’s startling and unprecedented comeback.
    Furthermore, there were nearly three thousand Alaskans, (2,783) that voted yet left the hotly contested congressional race blank. In the highly publicized senate race, complete with a nationally covered trial that ended with seven felony convictions for the incumbent Stevens 1,392 Alaskans submitted a ballot and failed to register a vote in the senate race. I’m not sure statistically what that means, but it strikes me as odd that well over a thousand Alaskans would wait in long lines and not cast a vote in either the senate race or the congressional race-especially since there was only one ballot measure. In addition, this particular election had an extra high degree of local interest with Governor Palin on the national stage.
    McCain-Palin was ahead in Alaska pre-election polling by as much as 55-40. The Haysresearch Poll that came out Sunday indicated that gap had closed to 2.7 points! That poll was certainly consistent with Palin’s reverse meteoric fall in popularity within the state of Alaska. In that same Haysresearch Poll released on November 2, Question 2 addressed Governor Palin’s positive-negative rating. 11% of Alaskans surveyed said their opinion of Palin had become more positive while 37% indicated they were more negative towards Palin. Yesterday’s vote contradicts those polls. McCain-Palin won Alaska -36! A 25 POINT SPREAD!!! An identical point spread as the 2004 Election.
    Alaska: A Diebold Company Town…
    Alaska has certainly had our share of election hanky panky. Check out this link to our 2004 election results [PDF]. There are 40 districts in Alaska. The Anchorage area districts run from District 17-District 32. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and pick any district from 17-32. Pay particular attention to the 3rd column labeled “% turnout”. Hit the back arrow and select another district. There are more precincts with voter turnout over 100% than under 100%.
    In other words, many more people voted in Anchorage area precincts than there were registered voters. Clearly, this is not possible. In 2006, the Democrats filed a lawsuit against the Alaska Division of Elections to release public records needed to verify the 2004 election results after turnout totals of more than 200% were noticed in some Alaskan counties. The Democrats won the lawsuit for the release of the data revealing how voters had actually voted in 2004, over Diebold’s objections and the allowance for the company to “manipulate the data” (their words!) before it would be released. The state then actually invoked a “national security” assertion in trying to avoid releasing the data.
    In 2006 the Democrats were forced to go to court AGAIN to have the Alaska Division of Elections release the raw election data for the 2006 election.
    With that history, and the bizarre anomalies in polling and voting and reports from the field of ballots not being scanned on-site due to broken machines, could this election have been stolen?
    I’ve always said if Democracy was a religion, voting would be the sacrament. I’m wondering if someone stole the body and blood of this election. I’m wondering if the wine isn’t poisoned. Take a few whiffs. Breathe deeply. See if you don’t come to the same conclusion. Where are the votes? Something stinks at the Alaska Division of Elections.
    For more, see our good friend Brad Friedman’s coverage concerning Alaska yesterday, and Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com who asks: “What the Hell Happened in Alaska?”
    Shannyn Moore is a Native Alaskan and a top rated progressive broadcaster based in Anchorage, Alaska. Shannyn blogs at ShannynMoore.wordpress.com and Huffington Post.


  5. Kathleen Galt says:

    “Every time Sarah speaks we all feel smarter” Pissed off Patricia from Crooks and Liars
    Sarah has those real family values…pathetic


  6. Bil says:

    “In what respects Charlie?”


  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    This “who is the sleaziest of the two” debate is comical. Both McCain and Palin certainly qualify as slimey in my opinion.
    McCain’s judgement was never really a question. We had eight years of synchophantic head nodding from that piece of shit. And the only time he showed any “maverick” tendencies, on the torture issue, he then quietly capitulated to Bush and the horned devil Cheney.
    And what can one say about Palin except she’s a vindictive bitch who is obviously unfit for ANY office, and wouldn’t even make for an acceptable nieghbor. The first time your cat sprayed one of her rose bushes, it would guarantee ten years of sneers, complaints to the home owner’s association, and hateful phone calls at three in the morning every time Todd came up short in his spousal attentions.
    There are now reports of Palin having temper tantrums at staff, throwing things. It sounds right in character with her greeting staff wrapped only in a towel. My bet? She made sure she showed some thigh.
    Its funny how old adages ring true through the chapters of time….
    birds of a feather….
    McCain and Palin deserve each other.


  8. rich says:

    The ridicule and backbiting is classic misdirection to minimize attention to McCain’s self-inflicted decisions and questionable tactics. I don’t like Palin, but ridicule-as-journalism doesn’t cut it.
    McCain’s concession speech offered the bare minimum. He said the right things, and really nothing more, because he had to. At no time did he take responsiblity for his campaign, nor did he make any move to quell the McCarthyite left-baiting and barely-concealed race-baiting his campaign ignited.
    That’s on John McCain–not Sarah Palin.
    McCain–just as handcuffed to corporate Republicans as anyone–is responsible for his own campaign. John McCain knew exactly what he was doing when he–taking his cue from Steve Schmidt, who made the call–picked Gov. Palin. McCain is as flawed a man as he is a candidate–and it’s a grievous error to overlook his decisions or his refusal to control his staff, run his campaign, or rein in the tactics used on his behalf. John McCain selected Palin to turn out the base–used her for that purpose–and has to be assigned responsibility for that: he does not have th option of backing away from the tactics he (supposedly) benefited from.
    The Newsweek article makes this clear:
    “McCain himself rarely spoke to Palin during the campaign.”
    Let me get this straight: you select a VP for your ticket–then won’t really speak to her? McCain is Bush-like in his interpersonal MO here: inviting zero input from his running mate, and offering no guidance or sense of belonging. Just control. Though campaign staff. I’d feel used, excluded, humiliated and hung out to dry were I in Palin’s position. Then I’d go out and campaign the best way I knew how. Which is what she did, with the help, I’m guessing, of Schmidt / Rove / Kristol or fellow Wormtongues urging Palin to gin up the fear and hatred.
    But McCain did little or nothing to control his campaign or rein in its excesses. At best, he tolerated them–but McCain expected to benefit from Palin’s demagoguery, and expected to get a free pass on the tactic.
    How John McCain could be so out of touch with his own campaign, with his own VP nominee, with the nature and effect of the tactics he indulged is impossible to explain. It’s possible he is simply unfit and out of touch. But it’s implausible to assert he did not understand the effect and and meaning of the methods he adopted.
    Sarah Palin does not explain John McCain’s TV ads, nor his tolerance for the same tactics adopted by his GOP surrogates.
    It all comes down to John McCain, and he has no plausible deniablity. He ‘said the right things’ in his concession speech–barely. But keeping up appearances mean little when he didn’t have the guts to call his own supporters on their vitriol and race-baiting.
    No points for McCain for that speech.
    “McCain was dumbfounded when Congressman John Lewis, a civil-rights hero, issued a press release comparing McCain with former Alabama Gov. George Wallace.”
    “The Secret Service [reported].. a sharp and very disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October, at the same time that the crowds at Palin rallies became more frenzied.”
    “Michelle Obama was shaken by the vituperative crowds and the hot rhetoric from the GOP candidates. ‘Why would they try to make people hate us?’ Michelle Obama said to a top campaign aide.”
    It’s no surprise. News reports indicated an uptick of threats and violent incidents at McCain rallies–yet he said nothing to tamp that down. Or redirect his campaign. “He rarely spoke to Palin”–supposedly.
    John McCain actively used the ‘dog-whistle’ language himself, stating on MTP that “the choice between my opponent and myself could not be more stark. The difference between us is like night and day.” Or, black and white.
    So instead of responsible analysis, we get stories about how much money Gov. Palin spent on clothes. She’s hardly Imelda Marcos, and the notion McCain–who owns 7 homes, or 8, he’s not quite sure which–can paint her as some sort of Marie Antoinette really defies all reason. McCain’s own GOP supporters handed her credit cards and said ‘go to it.’ Had they any limits, they obviously did not make them clear. This isn’t to excuse Palin, who’s symptomatic of an overriding Republican sense of entitlement excess. Naive, sure. She believed what she was told.
    This ridicule levied by the social in-crowd (read GOP operatives who just massively lost this campaign) has really reached absurd heights. Gov. Palin is so un-repressed that she actually (*shock*) greet staff in a towel!
    “At the GOP convention in St. Paul, Palin was completely unfazed by the boys’ club fraternity she had just joined. One night, Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter went to her hotel room to brief her. After a minute, Palin sailed into the room wearing nothing but a towel, with another on her wet hair. She told them to chat with her laconic husband, Todd. “I’ll be just a minute,” she said.”
    “boy’s-club fraternity”? Look, it could be a scene out of a 1950s Cary Grant movie. But this is 2008.
    There is no honor in using Gov. Palin to turn out the base and then basically not speaking to her.
    There is no honor in holding her at arm’s length and then showing up at her hotel suite, and complaining she does not have a retinue to sequester her until she’s fully dressed.
    There is no honor in viewing her classic American comfort level–“chat with .. Todd”–and then spilling it as some sort of faux pas. (Laconic is now a social slight? The onus was on Todd? Get real.)
    There is no honor in running a race-baiting demagoguing campaign, and then telling everybody it wasn’t your own doing. That it was the VP. She was off-message, you see. Yikes. That’s one steaming pile of horseshit. Gov. Palin has her flaws, and I’m no fan. But don’t ask us to tolerate that kind of campaign and then tell us that’s rain falling on our heads.


  9. eberit says:

    Matt- Yes, you are right about the 90 day thing (slipped my mind among all the other scenarios)but it would be too risky now as she is back in AK facing the mess and resentments created among the local and state body politic by the McCain team during her time as a nominee. She has not been a very engaged Governor as it is to begin with….just ask the career folks in the various departments of state as well as legislative committee chairpersons. This is the story…explore her governing record now that the McCain team is outta there.


  10. karen marie says:

    carl cameron on fox news has reported that sarah palin thought africa was a country (not a continent) and did not know what countries were members of NAFTA.
    he knew about this well before yesterday but decided that it wasn’t important that the voters know that sarah palin’s knowledge base was even more limited (hard to believe, i know) than we knew.
    anyone want to tell us again how the media was “in the bag” for obama?


  11. carsick says:

    You knew the knives would come out. I almost thought she’d pull the first shiv but as any college player will tell you, the games a lot faster in the pros.


  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I see Palin as an IQ barometer. You can correctly assess the intelligence of a fellow human being by simply asking them what they think of Sarah Palin.


  13. Chicagoan says:

    I don’t think you need to feel too sorry for Palin, at least assuming that this report that she was unaware Africa is a continent is correct. (God takes care of people like this.)


  14. Matt says:

    thanks. i’d read this short piece in the New Yorker’s “Talk of the Town” section which implied that maneuvering herself into the Senate seat would be a viable opportunity for Palin:
    since reading your comment i’ve read another article from the Ancorage Daily News which spells out the source of confusion:
    it seems that there’s some kind of hitch in the Murkowski law, where it’s unclear whether or not the Alaska governor has the right/responsibility to appoint an interim senator. what’s clear is that there needs to be a new election within 90 days if a Senator gets booted. however, in that space of time where Alaska would be missing a Senator, it would be within bounds for the governor to appoint an interim senator (ultimately subject to supreme court compliance), who would then presumably have an advantage in the upcoming election. what the New Yorker piece implies is that she could, feasibly, step down as governor, arranging a quid pro quo with the Lieutenant Governor who would then appoint her interim Senator once he took over the reins. Now that I see how it would actually work, it seems a little far-fetched and – potentially – too risky. though i suppose you never know…


  15. Dan Kervick says:

    Part of me does feel sorry for Palin. She was elevated very suddenly by a cynical gang of neocon Pygmalions to a station that she wasn’t prepared to inhabit, and ended up as an object of ridicule. It must have been very humiliating for her.
    But I only feel partly sorry for her, because in addition to the cynical exploitation supplied by others, Palin brought along her own measure of self-centered arrogance and blind ambition. When she was asked in a debate about mistakes she had made in the past, and had learned from, and apparently couldn’t think of anything, she revealed a very worrisome narcissism that would have been just as dangerous in a vice president or president as her lack of knowledge and relevant experience.


  16. chophouse says:

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Palin’s 15 minutes are up. Deal with it Sarah, and the rest of us. A minor footnote in presidential footnotes, like when your oil warning light comes on once, then it never comes on again and everything runs fine. Just a hiccup – nothing more.


  17. Charles Peterson says:

    She can have all the fancy clothes she wants and can get people to
    pay for. As long as she’s not wearing them in the White House,
    that’s fine with me.
    Rank hypocrisy and gotcha politics from media people and others
    who may spend millions on clothes (and lots on haircuts too) but
    wouldn’t mention it in public.
    Obama has some fine looking suits too, btw. I know they weren’t
    Now about the pork and stuff on the public dime, that’s another
    matter. But most serious of all are her views on Global Warming
    and Creationism, and bandying names like “terrorist”.


  18. eberit says:

    Matt-Since the installation of Lisa Murkowski, Alaskans voted to change the proceedure to having a special election for a replacement Senator. Sarah would have to run for the position.


  19. Matt says:

    Steve, assuming Ted Stevens pulls off a victory, do you think she’ll install herself as Alaska’s next Senator once Stevens gets kicked out of the Senate, or will she stay on as Governor?


  20. rich says:

    Funny, John McCain and colleagues had little to say–meaning they paid lip service but didn’t put their foot down–about the profligate spending of Sens. Young & Stevens and Establishment D.C. Republicans, pre-2006. McCain’s campaign trail rhetoric rang hollow.
    It’s one thing to decry pork to score political points, quite another to stand by while the Treasury is looted. Sarah Palin is one and the same with high-spending, won’t-pay-for-it Republicans—she modeled her administrative and personal behavior on what she saw in Washington, D.C., and in Alaska. That’s why Bill Kristol and Ted Stevens and John McCain liked her so much.
    When you can score points by attacking Washington excess and largesse, as Gov. Palin did when rejecting the Bridge to Nowhere–and she was savvy enough to separate herself from the political fallout of that albatross–then you know the Establishment conception of ‘normality’ has gone far, far around the bend. Because she did that while maintaining her finger in the pie–just like everybody else. Just like everybody busily pointing fingers at Sarah Palin.
    We’ve had hundreds of billions of dollars squandered, porked, looted, all with no accountability. And a few sore losers are going after Sarah Palin? I don’t think Palin as sacrificial lamb is gonna fly. Not surprised some folks’ll try anything, though. Occupying Iraq for 100 years would cost billions upon billions–and certain contractors stand to gain light-years more than Sarah Palin’s wardrobe’ll ever amount to.
    She had her champions and facilitators, and there’s no question they encouraged her rhetoric as well as her profligate relationship to cash and power. She’s quite at home among old-guard Republican policitians and funders. Ain’t no difference.
    Crying foul now is just bad manners. Lack of grace and a refusal to take responsiblity–that too. Sarah Palin just did as she was told.


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