"While the media focused largely on Palin's support for [Alaska Repubican gubernatorial candidate Joe] Miller, Mike Huckabee's political organization was also playing a key role in turning out conservative voters," reported CNN late August, noting that while "The Palin endorsement was guaranteed to draw more attention … the former Arkansas governor and Fox News host quickly put his political action committee to work for Miller — another example, his aides say, of Huckabee's underappreciated influence on races around the country." With visions of 2012 on the horizon, things are getting complicated in Alaska. See below for more.
"Internal Emails Suggest Palin to Run for President," goes the breathless Huffington Post headline, top story on Memeorandum, but it's blog/twitterfriend Stacy McCain who's got the scoop. On Twitter we'd noticed and retweeted Memeorandum's listing of the HuffPo story. Adrenalin flowing at rumors of a rift between the Palins and Alaska senatorial candidate Joe Miller over the latter's failure to officially endorse Palin for President when asked about it on Fox News Sunday mid-September, we breathlessly twittered sistah grizzly Cubachi:
Cubachi reached Stacy, aka The Other McCain, who picked up the ball — or more precisely the phone! — and ran with it. He's the disintermediating gumshoe reporter, you may recall, who charmed his way into the Palins' Wasilla living room a few weeks back, "Meeting Mr. Palin." A couple of excerpts from that post to set the scene for today's breaking news:
Rumor is that the Palins are out of town and hope of an interview seems doomed to disappointment. Then my cell phone rings. "This is Todd Palin," says the man on the phone. We chat briefly about the recent GOP primary victory of Joe Miller. I explain that I've driven 50 miles from Anchorage to Wasilla just to get a sense of the town where Sarah began her political career as a city council member and mayor …
Professionally, I'm obliged to mention speculation about Sarah's plans for 2012, but Todd says his wife is currently focused on the upcoming mid-term congressional elections, now less than nine weeks away. And after November? I wasn't taking notes and my memory is notoriously dodgy, so it's possible that Todd's answer was, "We'll see."
Fast forward to this afternoon when Stacy apparently made a few calls and churned out the story in record time, "Palin Backers Suspect Huckabee Loyalists on Joe Miller Staff Behind E-Mail Leak":
“This is the worst sort of betrayal I’ve ever seen,” one source close to Sarah Palin said in describing the leak of an e-mail that Todd Palin sent to Joe Miller, the Alaska GOP Senate candidate.
The source noted that some of Miller’s campaign staff have connections to 2008 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, and suggested that these staffers have been advising Miller to distance himself from Palin.
"In my haste to get this post online, I may have pulled the trigger too quickly — a hazard of the light-speed news cycle in the Internet age," Stacy writes in an update just as we were about to go to press:
A few words have been changed, so that no one draws the wrong conclusion. And, indeed, I have just learned that the Miller campaign is prepared to deny responsibility for the e-mail leak …
But the problem of divided loyalties within the Miller campaign staff — that some Huckabee supporters are “f–ing everything up” — is dead-on accurate. For several months, I've been concerned that the mid-term might suffer because some Republicans are looking ahead to 2012.
The fact that this is the top story on Memeorandum does say this: If Sarah Palin announces for the republican nomination she is the defacto front-runner. Democrats ought to be damn scared but some republican establishment types are more scared.