Saturday, June 9, 2012

International Edition: Deep regrets about Palin pick

International Herald Tribune

“If I knew two days before what I knew two days later, I would have handcuffed myself to the truck to prevent him from leaving the compound,” Mr. Schmidt said, recalling the moment that Mr. McCain left to announce his selection. “I guess the evidence of that is the trauma I still have four years later.” 

“She absolutely should not be president: no way, no how,” he said. “I’ve watched her on the public stage over the past four years. There has been zero effort — zero — to improve any of her obvious deficiencies.”

A Career Resurrected After McCain and Palin

Max Whittaker for The New York Times
Steve Schmidt, the senior adviser to the 2008 campaign of Senator John S. McCain, in Incline Village, Nev., now his home.
“It’s not been an easy journey,” said Nicolle Wallace, who worked with Mr. Schmidt on the McCain campaign and on George W. Bush’s 2004 election campaign. “He spent a lot of time obsessing over the autopsy of 2008.” 

Mr. Schmidt’s re-emergence is in part a result of a considered campaign of penance that began almost immediately after the loss: appearances, speeches and interviews brimming with self-criticism and challenges to his own party. At a postelection forum sponsored by The Atlantic, he said it would be “catastrophic” for Republicans to nominate Ms. Palin in 2012. In one of his first speeches, he came out in support of gay marriage. 

He did a turn on “60 Minutes.” In “Game Change,” based on the book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, Mr. Schmidt is portrayed as an honest broker who realized too late he had made a ruinous mistake and whose culpability was shared. Mr. Schmidt came up with Ms. Palin’s name, and two other McCain campaign advisers — Rick Davis, the campaign manager, and A. B. Culvahouse Jr., a lawyer — were primarily in charge of checking her credentials in the space of a week. 

Mr. Culvahouse, in a column in The Wall Street Journal, described the HBO movie as revisionist, and said the background check on Ms. Palin was “no less rigorous” than the investigation of other candidates. Mr. Davis declined to talk about Mr. Schmidt, reflecting what Republicans describe as resentment in McCain circles about the way, in their view, Mr. Schmidt patched his own boat. 

“My mother always taught me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all,” Mr. Davis wrote in an e-mail.

Read it at the IHT

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