Forget McCain aides. Now W aides are getting into it over Sarah Palin.
Earlier today, an excerpt from former W. speechwriter Matt Latimer's new book alleged that the President was less than familiar with Sarah Palin when John McCain picked her.
Said W, in what's quickly becoming the day's (week's, month's?) line:
"I'm trying to remember if I've met her before. What is she, the governor of Guam?"
Not so fast, says Jason Recher, a special assistant to W and traveling aide to Palin.
Via CNN's Peter Hamby:
"The president was fully aware of who Sarah Palin was," Recher told CNN. "Even so much that when he greeted the governor and Todd in Fairbanks during a re-fueling stop on the way to the Beijing Olympics, he threw open his arms and said "Madam Vice President!'"
"He was very aware of her rising-star status and who she was and everything about her, even down to the fact that she recently had given birth to Trig," Recher said.
It seems like there's a failure to communicate here.
Latimer's essential point (and likely, W's) was that she was pretty green to be put in the glare. Hence, the Guam thing = sarcasm.
I was about to be engulfed by a tidal wave of Palin euphoria when someone—someone I didn’t expect—planted my feet back on the ground. After Palin’s selection was announced, the same people who demanded I acknowledge the brilliance of McCain’s choice expected the president to join them in their high-fiving tizzy. It was clear, though, that the president, ever the skilled politician, had concerns about the choice of Palin, which he called “interesting.” That was the equivalent of calling a fireworks display “satisfactory.”
“I’m trying to remember if I’ve met her before. I’m sure I must have.” His eyes twinkled, then he asked, “What is she, the governor of Guam?”
Everyone in the room seemed to look at him in horror, their mouths agape. When Ed told him that conservatives were greeting the choice enthusiastically, he replied, “Look, I’m a team player, I’m on board.” He thought about it for a minute. “She’s interesting,” he said again. “You know, just wait a few days until the bloom is off the rose.”