Election 2008

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  Strains Between Mccain And Palin Aides Go PublicNovember 06, 1998 08:55 Now that the defeated team of Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin have gone their separate ways, the knives are out and Palin is the one who is getting filleted.

Revelations from anonymous critics from within the McCain-Palin campaign suggest a number of complaints about the Alaskan governor:

Fox News reports that Palin didn't know Africa was a continent and did not know the member nations of the North American Free Trade Agreement -- the United States, Mexico and Canada -- when she was picked for vice president.

The New York Times reports that McCain aides were outraged when Palin staffers scheduled her to speak with French President Nicholas Sarkozy, a conversation that turned out to be a radio station prank.

Newsweek reports that Palin spent far more than the previously reported $150,000 on clothes for herself and her family.

Several publications say she irked the McCain campaign by asking to make her own concession speech on election night.

The tension is likely to continue or get worse. Lawyers for the Republican National Committee are heading to Alaska to try to account for all the money that was spent on clothing, jewelry and luggage, according to The New York Times.

Reports of agitation between the two camps bubbled up in the final weeks of the campaign as Barack Obama began pulling away and the GOP duo was unable to regain the momentum.

But those reports are no longer in the rumor stage as McCain loyalists are now blasting away at the Alaska governor, who was a favorite of the Republican right during the campaign, but was cited in numerous polls as a reason why many Americans wouldn't vote for the Arizona Republican.

Perhaps the most dangerous allegation for Palin are reports in The New York Times and Newsweek that when she was urged by McCain adviser Nicole Wallace to buy three suits for the Republican convention and three suits for the campaign trail, she went on the now-infamous shopping spree at swank stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

A Republican donor who agreed to foot a majority of the expenses was stunned when he received the bill, Newsweek reported. Both the Times and Newsweek report that the budget for the clothing was expected to be between $20,000 and $25,000. Instead, the amount reported by the Republican National Committee was $150,000.

That wasn't the whole tab, however, according to Newsweek. The magazine claims that Palin leaned on some low-level staffers to put thousands of dollars of additional purchases on their credit cards. The national committee and McCain became aware of the extra expenditures, including clothes for husband Todd Palin, when the staffers sought reimbursement, Newsweek reported.
  Barack Obama Elected PresidentNovember 04, 1998 21:23 Barack Obama has been elected the 44th president of the United States—the first time an African-American has won the nation's highest office and the rare occasion where a newcomer to national politics has captured the White House on his first try.
  Obama'S Grandmother DiesNovember 03, 1998 14:34 The day took a tragic turn for Sen. Barack Obama when his ailing grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, died today.

Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Dunham died at home late last night in Hawaii, or roughly between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. Eastern. Obama learned of the news a little after 8 a.m. in Florida, where his campaign held a morning rally.

The campaign released a statement from Obama and his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng this afternoon:

"It is with great sadness that we announce that our grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has died peacefully after a battle with cancer. She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility. She was the person who encouraged and allowed us to take chances. She was proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and left this world with the knowledge that her impact on all of us was meaningful and enduring. Our debt to her is beyond measure.

  Daily Tracking Poll: Not Just Economy And Bush; Palin Is Trouble For Mccain TooNovember 03, 1998 09:50 Barack Obama's strong close in the 2008 campaign has been boosted by more than the shell-shocked economy and the Bush legacy. There's also Sarah Palin, and the concern she incites, especially among voters who are worried about John McCain's age.

Forty-six percent of likely voters now say having Palin on the ticket makes them less likely to support McCain -- up 14 points in just the past month and more than double what it was in early September. And among those who call the candidates' age an important factor in their vote, more, 61 percent, say Palin makes them less likely to back McCain.
  Palin Costing Mccain, Poll SuggestsNovember 02, 1998 22:40 A new national poll suggests Sarah Palin may be hurting Republican presidential nominee John McCain more than she's helping him.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Sunday indicates McCain's running mate is growing less popular among voters and may be costing him a few crucial percentage points in the race for the White House.

Fifty-seven percent of likely voters questioned in the poll said Palin does not have the personal qualities a president should have. That's up 8 points since September.

Fifty-three percent say she does not agree with them on important issues. That's also higher than September.

"Just after the GOP convention in early September, 53 percent said they would vote for Palin over Joe Biden if there were a separate vote for vice president. Now, Biden would beat Palin by 12 points if the running mates were chosen in a separate vote," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

And what if voters were allowed to vote for president separately?

"It would be a 4-point edge for Barack Obama, 52 percent to 48 percent. Since the McCain-Palin ticket is currently getting 46 percent in a match-up against the Obama-Biden ticket, it looks like Palin's presence on the GOP ballot is taking 2 percentage points away from McCain. In a close race, that might represent the margin of victory," Holland said.
  Free Sarah Palin: She Did ItNovember 02, 1998 09:13 We're off to Chicago to cover election night, but before we go, our final installment of Free Sarah Palin looks to be in order.

Because it looks like GOP Gov. Sarah Palin actually did it -- ran out the clock to earn her spot as the first major party candidate to entirely sidestep a formal news conference and an appearance on the Sunday news shows, a traditional test for those hoping to ascend to the nation's highest offices.

We began our campaign in the Chronicle to urge the Governor to make herself available to media questions in tough and regular settings last September, noting that ''if she can field dress a moose, she can meet with reporters.''

Though Palin was named to be Sen. John McCain's VP on August 29, she didn't even take her first question from the public until 23 days later. It made news.

Yes, by the end, Palin did a few tarmack Q&As.

No, a couple of on-the-run quotes between limo and plane doesn't constitute a full news conference.

Yes, finally, Palin did interviews -- the lion's share with conservative commentators and quickies with local stations.

No, those don't substitute for a full- fledged grilling on ''Meet the Press.''