A few days ago, I made note of the back and forth sniping going on between the McCain campaign and conservative pundit Bill Kristol. It’s gotten a bit personal lately, with McCain campaign manager Rick Davis personally taking Kristol out to the woodshed on national television. The key soundbite:

DAVIS: Yes, well, you know, it’s a good thing Bill Kristol has never run a political campaign because he’d probably have to fire himself at least two or three times.

This may be beyond standard political sniping. Scott Horton of Harper’s has written extensively about Bill Kristol’s role in promoting Sarah Palin for the VP slot. But in a recent interview with Glenn Greenwald, Horton reveals evidence of discontent behind closed doors at the McCain campaign.

SH: I’d say, of course the McCain campaign isn’t doing too well right now, and one of the consequences of that is we’ve got a lot of finger-pointing going on within the camp, and I’d say there’s a pretty broad agreement amongst a number of the senior-most advisors to McCain that the Palin pick is worse than disappointing. It’s a total disaster, as one describes to me. And there is a sort of blame game going on there.

Now, one of them described to me quite recently in some detail, who it was who introduced and pushed the Palin nomination, and he says it really boils down – there were a number of people behind the nomination, but there’s one person who was essentially the person who introduced her as a candidate and pushed her consistently and firmly all through the summer primary she was elected – and that person is Bill Kristol. And the interesting thing is of course, if we look across the whole horizon of conservative columnists, prominent conservative columnists, pretty much all of them are expressing reservations or concerns or they’re outright opposing Palin as a pick, with one really striking exception, and that’s Bill Kristol. And Bill Kristol, in none of his columns has acknowledged that he in a sense is the author of Sarah Palin. He discovered her, he promoted her, and he pushed her through to the vice-presidential nomination.

If this is true, that makes Kristol’s recent criticism of Palin much more self-serving. It’s become full-on cover your ass mode. When the post-mortem of this campaign is written, there will be a lot of people pointing fingers at each other, and I think quite a few of them will be pointed at Bill Kristol.


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