Is a Maverick Running Wild in the Maverick’s Campaign?

Beyond the questions about Sarah Palin’s political, social, economic, and foreign policy intelligence, Sarah Palin looks like a maverick within the maverick campaign.  It’s startling to see how Palin seems to be running wild without much of a leash from the McCain campaign. Examples: 

  • McCain announces he is pulling out of Michigan on Thursday.   On Friday (through the paper no less), Palin finds out and starts ranting about wanting to go back in.
  • McCain made it clear this spring that he did not find it acceptable to go after Obama with regard to the Reverend Wright controversy.  In fact, he didn’t believe the views of Wright were Obama’s views.  Yesterday and today Palin has come out and attacked Obama hard on that relationship.  She believes him sitting in the pews for 20 years reflects on his views.
  • McCain believes Global Warming is attributed to man.  Sarah Palin will not make that claim and goes out of her way to avoid that point.  As a representative of John McCain, she should be supporting his platform.
  • McCain has articulated that, at least publicly, he would not support raids into Pakistan to flush out terrorists without the support of the Pakistani government.  Palin has disagreed and stated that she would support attacks in to Pakistan.
  • McCain and the GOP do not believe in a full set of rights for life partners.  During the debate, Palin made it known she would support rights for life partners (though, I am sure she simply didn’t understand the question).
  • Mccain and Palin disagree on ANWR oil drilling.
There are so many different problems with maverick Palin and this apparent discourse with the McCain campaign.  First, it’s obvious that the debate has emboldened Palin.  She believes everything the media was saying about her performance.  This coupled with her handlers letting her loose, has unleashed a monster.  The discussion about pulling out of Michigan, particularly shows a woman who is reckless.  To go before the voters and state her displeasure with the McCain campaign is undermining.  She actually believes she is a maverick and she is giving you an idea of what type of vice president she would be.  In many ways, this shows she would take the Cheney mold one step further.  Can you imagine this woman in the Executive Building spouting off her policies beliefs at the same time a President McCain would be in the Oval Office dealing with a crisis?   What makes you think what we’ve seen wouldn’t be reflection of her in office?  Another example would be the Reverend Wright issue.  This is another example of her vocally articulating her displeasure for the campaign not going after Obama.  I wouldn’t doubt on both Michigan and Wright she is getting prompting from others within the campaign who disagree with McCain’s strategy.  If that is the case, then it demonstrates that McCain cannot control his organization.  If he can’t do that in a campaign, do you expect he can do it in the White House?
In addition, all of these points show a candidate who is not disciplined or does not understand the campaign’s stances, OR doesn’t understand the issue well enough and simply says what she thinks is right.  This goes to the core of her knowledge and also her ability to build consensus.  One of the jobs of the vice president is to work on behalf of the president to build consensus when needed.  This goes for heading up to Capitol Hill on a tough vote or working with senior delegates of foreign governments to work out a negotiation.  If she doesn’t support the policy stance of the President, she will not create consensus, but discourse.  Again, it’s a team of two right now – McCain and Palin.  If she can’t stay aligned with him now, there is no evidence they could in the future.
Palin’s demonstrated maverick attitude also shows a campaign that is lacking on communication and coordination.  When one candidate is talking one way and the other in a different way, regardless of the reason, the campaign looks dysfunctional.  Why did Palin, as she has claimed, only learn about pulling of Michigan a day later through the newspaper?  How does she not know that McCain has clearly stated not to go after Wright (and if McCain has changed his mind, he should at least note it somewhere, otherwise it looks as if they are not talking from the same sheet of paper).  How can she continue to not admit that Global Warming is caused by man when both candidates in this election agree on that point?  That seems like a basic coaching point during her prep sessions.  As for her other policy differences, they may be legitimate or simply a lack of knowledge.  Again, it makes it very clear that communication is not flowing well in both directions.
Many pundits feel that Palin is already gearing up for 2012.  If so, she may want to ensure that she is not ensnared in McCain’s policies.  This is a platform for her to demonstrate leadership and standing on issues.  She may be looking at the lack of direction within the campaign as a opportunity for her.  Regardless, none of it reflects well on McCain and I do not know how an argument can be made that if they aren’t in sync now, they will be in sync if they win.
These aren’t small points.  Think about it this way.  If you were to use the campaigns as an example of how the White House would be run, who would you choose?  Obama’s campaign has been extremely coordinated, communication flows very well, everybody is disciplined, and (for the most part) Obama and Biden are on the same page – gaffes notwithstanding.  You get the sense that their core message will be consistently delivered up by Biden or Obama.  A characteristic of a administration that would be effective.  There were no surprises in what Biden said at the debate – it fully agreed with Obama.  But, not with Palin.  Even looking back at the previous elections, no Karl Rove campaign would be run so poorly and with such bad communication.  If they can’t get it right now – how can you expect them to get it right if they win?

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