For weeks, McCain officials have been dumping on Gov. Sarah Palin as a disaster, accusing her of everything from being a prima donna to a binge shopper to a moron. Palin has responded by calling these anonymous sources as cowardly and “jerks.” She and her supporters have even suggested that these sources may be false or low-level disgruntled individuals. Now, one of the sources has gone public. It is Martin Eisenstadt and he claims to be one the most senior campaign aides. Now, however, some are questioning whether he is a hoax rather than a hero of the left. THis is truly becoming bizarre with the purported “real” Eisenstadt releasing his own video.
Here is Eisenstadt’s statement that set off the feeding frenzy:
By now you’ve all heard the Fox News report last week that “unnamed” former McCain advisers leaked that Sarah Palin was confused about whether Africa was a continent, and which countries were in NAFTA. I was perfectly happy staying under the radar as an anonymous source for Fox News‘ Carl Cameron, but now that Palin has accused her accusers of being “unprofessional…jerks…cowards… taking things out of context, and then tried to spread something on national news” and begun to cast doubt on the Fox News report, maybe she’s right to a certain extent. For those of us on the McCain campaign who thought that she acted like a rogue diva and lost John the election, maybe we DO have a responsibility to come out in public. But Sarah… careful what you ask for: some of us may have more to reveal.
So yes, to be clear, last week I was the one who leaked those things to a producer at Fox News who works with Cameron. Carl and his producers are good guys, and I don’t want them to have to worry about protecting their sources (and going through the wringer ala Judith Miller or Matt Cooper) on something like this.
As you know, I was one of the foreign policy advisers on the McCain campaign who worked with Randy Scheunemann to help prep Sarah on her debate with Joe Biden. Did we outright give her a geography quiz when we started the prep? No, of course not. But yes, in the context of the prep, it slowly became apparent that her grasp of basic geo-political knowledge had major gaps. Could she have passed a multiple choice test about South Africa or NAFTA. Probably. But it was clear that she simply didn’t have the ease of knowledge that we come to expect from a major party political candidate. Other slights came up, too: Not knowing the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas. Or the difference between the Shiites and Suni. Or when it came to international terrorist organizations, knowing that the IRA was in Northern Ireland, and ETA in Spain.
The real thing we had to constantly remind her was to never, ever compare herself in any way to Hillary Clinton, as she had at her announcement speech. We had it on good authority that Biden was prepping to unleash the inevitable line, “I know Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is a friend of mine. And Sarah, you’re no Hillary Clinton.” Alas, Biden would have been right.
Of course, this does not alter that basis of the story about Africa and NAFTA from Fox News and Newsweek. However, I cannot find any statement from Carl Cameron denying that Eisenstadt was his source or only source. If he was his source, then there is no remaining confidentiality problem in confirming the basis for the story. It may be Cameron in a rough position since he cites multiple sources and no journalist wants to narrow the pool of possible anonymous sources who remain confidential. However, presumably, Cameron could ethically confirm whether this was one of his sources.
Here is now a picture of what is alleged to be the relevant Eisenstadt with Joe the Plumber outside of SNL studios.In a statement on his blog, he chastises those who say he does not exist or is a fraud:
Danny tells me that one ongoing thread he’s seen on many of the blogs today is that I somehow don’t exist or am a fraud of some kind. As any loyal reader of the blog or of our new YouTube channel knows full well, every single one of these fallacious internet rumors can be attributed to a single source – a Mr. “Wolfrum,” whom we established is a very bitter tranny-loving golf blogger living in Brazil when we wrote about him back in June. When the BBC recently ran their YouTube series on me entitled “The Last Republican,” I even addressed the issue there. As you may have seen from my responses to this documentary, I’m quite upset at the way I was portrayed in the series, but in this one particular episode, at least I am asked, and I think I answer, the question directly. (please, though, I urge you to skip ahead to minute 1:50 where I address the issue head on – the rest of this episode takes much of what I say out of context)
For all of you naysayers out there, I ask you now not to believe everything you read on the internet. My reputation is at risk, and every single blog that has cast doubt on my existence has been traced back to this one, unrepentant golf blogger who has some sort of pathological grudge against me. And for those wondering why he would go after me, and try to discredit my views on Sarah Palin, you should take note that he himself comes from Alaska. Coincidence? Or just plain chance?
For his part, Wolfrum has posted his own retort and says that he was also hoaxed by Eisenstadt.
In the meantime, Palin is blaming Bush for the loss of the election despite polls that show that she was the leading reason for many independent and swing voters to vote against the ticket.
For the statement from Eisenstadt, click here.