Wars of Words

Palin Article Ignites GOP Feud

John McCain’s campaign manager, Steve Schmidt, was compared a lot to Karl Rove before the election, but maybe he wasn’t such a bad guy after all: Schmidt is in a war of words with the ultimate Republican apparatchik and informal McCain adviser, William Kristol, after Vanity Fair published a critical article about Sarah Palin sourced to ex-McCain-campaign staffers. Kristol attacked Vanity Fair’s “top aides” who speculated whether Palin was suffering from post-partum depression after the birth of her son Trig. “One aide who raised this possibility in the course of trashing Palin’s mental state to others in the McCain-Palin campaign was Steve Schmidt,” Kristol wrote. Schmidt fired back: “I'm sure John McCain would be president today if only Bill Kristol had been in charge of the campaign. After all, his management of [former Vice President] Dan Quayle’s public image as his chief of staff is still something that takes your breath away." Schmidt denies raising questions of post-partum depression, but Randy Scheunemann, a foreign-policy adviser to McCain, says he remembers Schmidt raising the issue twice.