By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
If you haven't already, I commend to you this bizarre story from Politico's excellent Jonathan Martin: Apparently an otherwise-Democratic donor who is married to Fox News personality Greta Van Susteren tried to arrange a political alliance between Hillary Clinton and ... Sarah Palin.
According to the story, one John Coale tried to convince Palin to help the secretary of state retire the debt left over from her most recent campaign, which you might recall was for the Democratic presidential nomination. The Democratic Party, of course, being the major political party of which Sarah Palin is nota prominent leader. And Hillary Clinton being a prominent politician who is—how to put it?—about as popular with the GOP base as Sarah Palin is with the Democratic base. So yeah, helping Clinton retire her campaign debt would make a great deal of sense if Palin planned to immediately withdraw from politics.
The story is worth reading in full for the comedic details of the alliance that was never going to happen and for the Keystone Kops picture it paints of post-election Team Palin. Apparently Coale was an adviser who continuously pushed this stuff. One can imagine the alternating impulses in Palin World to laugh, cry, and yell: Shut up! Then there's the other Clinton:
Former President Bill Clinton placed a friendly call to Palin after the election, and Coale sought to use that as an opportunity to play matchmaker.
And there's this E-mail from Palin campaign aide Meg Stapleton suggesting that the idea had a Polar Bear's chance in Little Rock:
"While we appreciate your efforts and recognize that a friendship with the Clintons is appropriate, the governor believes (and I concur) that using SarahPAC to pay down Hillary's debt is not a prudent use of the money," Stapleton wrote to Coale in a Feb. 17 e-mail, a few days after he made his pitch to the governor. "Contributors who chose between heating their homes and sending in a contribution because they believe in Sarah would be crushed."
Contributors who chose between heating their homes and sending in a contribution? That's a joke, right?
Coale conceded that he urged Palin and her advisers to consider helping Clinton, but he said it was part of a larger campaign to align the Alaska governor with prominent women in politics, including Republicans Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, both of whom are prospects for elective office in California.
"It was a women thing and not a Hillary thing," said Coale, who was angered at what he saw as sexism aimed at Clinton during last year's campaign and who has long taken an interest in promoting female politicians.
A women thing and not a Hillary thing? I guess that means that gender trumps things like issues, qualifications, positions, policies, and so forth? Isn't that sort of Cro-Magnon thinking what got the GOP into Palin trouble in the first place?
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