Saturday, August 30, 2008

How Palin Got Picked

Stephen F. Hayes has the back story.
On Wednesday of last week, Palin flew with her top aide, Kris Perry, to Flagstaff, Arizona, where she met with Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter from McCain's campaign. The following day this group traveled to McCain's home in Sedona and met with the candidate and his wife, Cindy. McCain took Palin outside to his deck and offered her the job....

Palin flew with Salter and Schmidt to Middletown, Ohio, and checked into the Manchester Inn. (She registered under the name Upton.)

No one on Palin's staff back in Alaska had any idea that she was going to explode onto the national political scene the following morning. "The only reason I ever thought anything is because I was asked by reporters if she was vetted by the McCain campaign," said McAllister. "And I told them no. The only thing I knew about was some biographical materials that they requested for the convention itself, for her speech." Some of her staff believed she was still in Alaska and planning to be at the State Fair on Friday....

As late as Thursday night, only a handful of McCain advisers and staffers knew whom the candidate had selected. Many of them assumed, like most of the political world, that it would be Pawlenty. Among those still in the dark was Maria Comella, a former spokesman for Rudy Giuliani, who had been brought aboard the McCain campaign to serve as the top press aide to McCain's running mate. She would not learn who her new boss would be until Friday morning.

Many political observers are astonished the secret held. The McCain campaign is not. "The key to keeping secrets is not telling people," says Matt McDonald...