Pilin’ on Palin: Fox News Reports Palin Did Not Know Africa Is a Continent While Newsweek Reports that She Misled Public on Shopping Binges

225px-palin1McCain campaign officials are unloading on Sarah Palin. Fox News is reporting that staffers were shocked after her selection that Palin did not know that Africa was a continent and could not name the countries who were members of the NAFTA agreement. In the meantime, Newsweek is reporting that aides were furious with Palin’s shopping binges — which appear bigger than reported and contradict her statements that these clothes were forced upon her. One aide at the time complained that it was “Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast.”


[UPDATE: The Fox account has been thrown into question after one of the alleged sources was outed as a fraud. It is not clear if this was the only source or even one of the sources used by Fox]
Since Palin can see Canada from her home, one would have thought that two countries would have been clear (Canada and the United States). That would still be a passing grade of 66 percent, even if she missed Mexico. NAFTA is particularly bizarre since it impacts Alaska and, given Palin’s claim of executive experience and pro-business savvy, it should have been well known to the governor of a neighboring state. Of course, George Bush told the head of another country recently that he did not know what the G20 was. However, Palin’s problems with basic geography and other subjects could have something to do with the fact that she took six years and six school changes to earn a four-year college degree.

McCain officials are reporting that Palin was something of a prima donna and difficult to work with — including temper tantrums and complaints over her handling. McCain aides reportedly refused Palin’s request to speak at the concession event. Freed from the confines of the campaign, there is a stampede of former aides to media outlets to criticize Palin and give new information on how difficult she proved as a person and candidate to work with during the campaign.

Fox also confirms that there was virtually no vetting of Palin by McCain before he selected her to be the second most powerful person in the nation. She was described as a “hail Mary” play for the campaign that was sinking in the polls and an obvious mistake by campaign officials.

Now, Newsweek is reporting that Palin’s expensive shopping trips were larger than expected and that Palin ignored campaign demands that she limit herself to three outfits. This directly contradicts what Palin said publicly. Here is how the magazine described it:

hile 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.

For the Newsweek story, click here. While Newsweek does not accuse her of lying, the report clearly contradicts her public statements that the clothes were forced upon her, were worth far less than the reported $150,000, and that she turned back much of the clothes — which were left in the belly of the plane. She described herself as “frugal” and denies the impression that she went on a shopping spree. Click here. At the time, aides were furious about her addressing the issue and it now appears that they may have been concerned about the truth of the statements.

In the meantime, Alaskans (who just reelected a convicted felon and sent an equally unethical House member back to Congress) greeted Palin at the airport chanting “2012, 2012!” Democrats, pundits, and Tina Fey certainly hope that they are right.

For the Fox interview, click here.

For the Fox report, click here.

20 thoughts on “Pilin’ on Palin: Fox News Reports Palin Did Not Know Africa Is a Continent While Newsweek Reports that She Misled Public on Shopping Binges

  1. I don’t know: I call BS on the Africa stories and the “parading around in front of aides in just a towel.” Those seem really really ridiculous.

    But obviously the Republican old money wing of the party has decided that Palin will NEVER be the candidate in 2012, and they are starting the evisceration now.

  2. mespo,

    I’ll agree to that with the stipulation that criminality and stupidity are not always mutually exclusive. It is possible to be a stupid criminal. Prof. Turley would have a much thinner blog otherwise.

  3. Hopefully there will be a new party created by all the crazies in the Republican Party after this election cycle (then I can start hanging out more with my old Republican friends who just don’t want to pay for anything unless its financed by China). They’ll most likely call themselves the “Party of God”, and with the exception of their feelings about Isreal, they’ll have an almost indentical platform to that of Hezbollah.

    They will nominate Palin as their leader and then stone her to death for showing too much leg.

  4. Please, please, please let Palin run. Let her split the Republican party, drive more moderates to the Democratic camp. Let her embarrass herself before more interviewers. And let Saturday Night Live find someone to play Todd Palin so we can have the behind the scenes comedy of errors.

    As for Palin and the Republicans. The Republican mantra has changed since the 60s. Now it’s: “Corruption today. Corruption Tomorrow. Corruption Forever!”

  5. Some of those comments by Palin are almost as stupid as someone saying that Iran is a small country that represents no real threat or saying something like there are 57 states in the USA. 🙂

    Just kidding, guys. Hope you all have a great day.

  6. Has any reporter really investigated how Sara came to be the VP nominee? I’m sure that would be a uniquely fascinating story.

  7. McCain was so desperate to become President that he risked putting Palin in Office because he thought American women (Hillary supporters) were stupid enough to vote for her.

    McCain ran a dirty, dishonest, disgraceful, and dishonorable campaign – it will be remembered by the majority of Americans at his funeral (probably in the next few years). He threw away any legacy just as Clinton did with his racist comments. Now McCain and his campaign are abandoning their former savior – McCain doesn’t even know the meaning of honor, loyalty and “country first”.

  8. rafflaw:

    “The next thing you know, we are going to hear that she also bought a “cement pond” for the home in Wasilla!
    ************

    Just priceless. I think they are moving to “Beverly” and soon. I am just now now trying to match the family member with the TV character. But I do think we need to add the “Dukes of Hazard” character list into our consideration. Sarah’s obviously “Daisy Duke” given the grand entrance with the towel episode!

  9. Buddha Is Laughing:

    Personally, I’d go with the latter in most instances. Never attribute to malice what can most easily be explained by stupidity. It takes too much planning and thinking to be successfully malicious. I didn’t see much of that in this campaign.

  10. Palin has got to be one of the most stupid candidates that has ever graced the national scene. But she makes the stupidity even worse by lying about the clothes shopping spree. Spree might even be too mild of a word. The next thing you know, we are going to hear that she also bought a “cement pond” for the home in Wasilla!

  11. >Of course, George Bush told the head of another country recently >that he did not know what the G20 was.

    That’s not setting the bar very high.

    >Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost.

    I’m shocked, shocked I say!!

    Yesterday I heard Gov. Palin had asked to be allowed to make a statement Tuesday night as part of the McCain consession speech platform. Now, that’s ballsy. If she rises from the ashes of this defeat it will be the first time I can think of that a candidate who LOST as VP was ever resurrected to prominence.

    She seems to represent roughly the same constituency as Mike Huckabee and he doesn’t come with the unshakable mantle of having already been rejected in the general election. He’s scary in his own ways, but I think he’s more likely to survive to be a matter of discussion for the religiosos in 2012 than Palin. One would think that at this point the GOP would be, should be, looking more toward the likes of their less religiously dogmatic options of Giuliani or Romney for leadership.

    For right now, though—who cares. I’m still buzzed by the after glow of Obama’s victory. My eight year bad mood has lifted. I don’t go to my former regular political sites to argue issues and raise my blood pressure. I feel so much lighter, cheerier and tolerant of alternative views. Ahhhhhhhhhh!

  12. Quick, Sarah!

    How many years is it to 2012?
    What is the VP’s real Constitutional role?
    What is the Declaration of Independence?
    What are the elements of a democratic representative republic?
    Can you contrast them with the elements of fascism?
    Does peanut butter really go with jelly?
    Do you dye your hair?

    Stumped? Too bad! You don’t get to go on to a life in national politics, but you do get this lovely, over priced wardrobe as a parting gift!

    The moral here is you can appear a liar, greedy, crazy OR stupid and remain in politics. Everyone in the Bush administration covering for the criminals, Cheney, Bush/Cheney and Bush if you need examples. But that conjunction “or” is really important. You can’t be all of the above and win an election for anything. How long it is until 2012 is kind of a moot question in your case since you’ve demonstrated all those traits and then some, Mrs. Fundie Hate Monger. You betcha!

    Enjoy your new career in 2nd tier residential Alaskan real estate and/or used car sales.

    Thanks for playing! Buh-bye.

  13. One stands in awe of the callous disregard of Country exhibited by those who loudly proclaimed “Country First.” It seems the greatest threat to republics isn’t the corruption of its leaders but their utter stupidity and ruthless ambition. Maybe Gibbon missed something in “Decline & Fall.”

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