On the tail of Game Change‘s premiere on HBO, former McCain/Palin adviser Nicolle Wallace, prominently featured in the film, visited Rachel Maddow tonight to expand upon the lessons of the 2008 campaign, and made clear that she felt fairly guilty about working to make someone “fundamentally unprepared and unsuited for the job” the Vice President of the United States.
Wallace noted that she was still in shock as to “how close we came to having somebody a heartbeat away from the presidency so fundamentally unprepared and unsuited for the job,” adding that, while she thought tossing around the term “PTSD” lightly was disrespectful, for a staffer, it was “the most traumatic experience to realize that they were working on behalf of somebody who– it’s an open question whether she is fit to serve, I certainly don’t think she was.”
Maddow noted that the film itself seemed to be changing the Washington narrative about Palin to be “that the choice of Palin was a disaster– I don’t think that was the consensus before,” which led Wallace to address the criticism of her and other staffers as “turncoats” for divulging the secrets of the campaign. “When loyalty and honesty collide,” she argued, she sided with honesty, particular given “how fundamentally off-base” it was “to pick someone who we knew nothing about.”
Ultimately, Wallace argued, the impact Palin had on campaigns would be felt in both parties for a long time: “both parties will forever avoid a Palin choice… she changed the equation forever.” She added she could see the conversations impacted by her for any possible appointments, since there are “very few opportunities in politics to reshuffle the deck,” but few have ended in such failure.
The segment via Fox News below:
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