When John McCain’s 2008 marketing campaign supervisor, Steve Schmidt, determined to throw the GOP’s vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, below the bus after dropping the election to Barack Obama, I believed it was improper.
Sure, the gamble on Palin ended up a bust, however Schmidt had picked her, and there may be an implicit settlement of loyalty and discretion on a marketing campaign. Just as sensible authorized defendants should degree with their protection lawyer, candidates should inform their marketing campaign supervisor every part. This makes them susceptible, which is why professionalism dictates conserving secrets and techniques the way in which a priest or an lawyer may. (Okay, possibly you don’t take every part to the grave, however you wait a couple of many years earlier than writing a memoir.)
Schmidt didn’t comply with this old style ethos, blabbing all types of Palin marketing campaign filth to the media, and it led him down a path that made him wildly wealthy.
We might by no means know the way a lot of the unfavourable data that leaked to the press about Palin got here from inside the home, however Schmidt landed on his toes after dropping on the largest stage by serving to write the primary draft of historical past.
As The New York Times famous in 2012, Schmidt’s reinvention was “helped in large part by the book and the movie Game Change, particularly the sympathetic portrayal of him in the film by Woody Harrelson.” Schmidt, the piece continued, “settled into a lucrative and prominent existence that suggests he is the beneficiary of the kind of political resurrection [he] might have orchestrated for a beleaguered public figure.”
Of course, Palin was expendable. Dishing on her might be excused. Besides, it was framed to protect McCain’s standing as a heroic P.O.W. and straight-talking reformer who all the time needed to choose Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman as his working mate. Schmidt may get away with betraying Palin, as long as he remained loyal to the person who famously corrected an older conservative voter who known as Obama an “Arab.”
Now, 14 years after managing that dropping race, and 4 years after McCain’s dying (he was not invited to the funeral), Schmidt is again to stab the nice battle hero within the again (a degree of disrespect not seen since Donald Trump mentioned he “liked people who weren’t captured.”)
In latest days, Schmidt has alleged that McCain was concerned in a long-time “relationship” with a feminine lobbyist (as was hinted at in the course of the marketing campaign), and says he was so disillusioned with McCain that he didn’t even vote for him—regardless of working his marketing campaign.
What was the precipitating occasion that led Schmidt to unburden himself by making this revelation? I imply, why now?
The impetus appears to be revenge for Meghan McCain having preferred a tweet alleging that Schmidt ran a “pedo racket.” Schmidt known as consideration to this on May 7, within the second tweet of an 11-part Twitter rant the place he piled on a report about Meghan’s meager e-book gross sales. Just two days later, Schmidt’s assault on her father, John McCain, was printed. If the assault on Sen. McCain was, in truth, aimed toward hurting Meghan, it was a scummy transfer.
Chalk it as much as simply one other instance of Schmidt making dramatic shifts, relying on which manner the wind is blowing.
In March 2016, Schmidt met with then-GOP frontrunner Trump at Trump Tower “to join his campaign.” According to the New York Post’s supply, Trump “was very turned off by the fact that Schmidt had turned on McCain.” Schmidt later dismissed the assembly as merely “an opportunity for me to take his measure, see what he was about, see the reality of a man face-to-face.”
“You could also argue, generously, that he’s a political strategist who has no idea of what’s going on right under his nose.”
Incidentally, Schmidt’s most profitable profession transfer was his choice to co-found the scandal-plagued anti-Trump “conservative” group, the Lincoln Project, to earn “generational wealth.” He achieved that purpose.
According to a February 11, 2021, report from Associated Press, “Of the $90 million Lincoln Project has raised, more than $50 million has gone to firms controlled by the group’s leaders.” And “only about a third of the money, roughly $27 million, directly paid for advertisements that aired on broadcast and cable, or appeared online, during the 2020 campaign.”
The report went on to notice that “Schmidt purchased a $1.4 million ‘Mountain Modern’ custom home in Kamas, Utah, with five bedrooms, seven baths and a ‘stunning’ view of the Uinta Mountains, according to property records and real estate listings. He is currently trying to resell the home for $2.9 million.”
Around that very same time, Schmidt resigned from the Lincoln Project’s board, after it was reported that co-founder John Weaver had been sexually harassing younger males. Schmidt claims he was beforehand unaware of the allegations in opposition to Weaver, however there may be some dispute about that declare.
Still, earlier than resigning, Schmidt was lower than clear.
“The Lincoln Project will be delighted to open its books for audit immediately after the Trump campaign and all affiliated super PACs do so,” he mentioned. As Politico’s John Harris wrote, “A willingness to stoop to Trump’s level, in fact, was a basic premise of the Lincoln Project…The key difference, according to the Lincoln Project founders and much of their press coverage, was that they would be doing it on the side of the Good Guys.”
While Schmidt and the Lincoln Project lectured the nation about morals, ethics, and decency, their very own home was clearly not so as. (Disclaimer: I’ve personally witnessed Schmidt’s penchant for imitating Trump, most famously when Schmidt in contrast yours actually and conservative author Noah Rothman to “American Chamberlins” (sic) and “Vichy” France (a.ok.a, Nazi collaborators.)
This is the man who inflicted Sarah Palin on to the nationwide physique politic, admits to protecting up what he claims are John McCain’s lies throughout a presidential election, and helped run a political activist group that was little greater than a fundraiser for he and his self-congratulatory “conservative” cronies. And but, he’s on the market throwing stones.
Moreover, Schmidt not too long ago tweeted that the Supreme Court had “completely broken trust and shattered its credibility” after studying of the leaked opinion on Roe, although he was the man who “ran the Roberts and Alito confirmations.” And but, he’s portrayed as some rock star by Woody Harrelson on HBO, is a fixture of political panel exhibits from Meet the Press to Real Time with Bill Maher, and is widely known usually by the liberal elite on networks like MSNBC.
You may additionally argue, generously, that he’s a political strategist who has no concept of what’s happening proper below his nostril.
Schmidt thought he recognized a game-changing working mate, however she turned out to be Palin. He thought he was working for a maverick, however he was (in response to Schmidt) actually a rogue. He was utterly blindsided that his enterprise associate was sexual harassing younger males, regardless of different folks being nicely conscious of that data.
He’s kind of just like the DEA agent whose brother-in-law is Walter White in Breaking Bad—or Stan Beeman, the FBI agent residing subsequent door to Russian spies on The Americans. Completely oblivious.
Either Steve Schmidt wasn’t the sensible and perceptive strategist he all the time claimed to be, or he was prepared to look the opposite manner on main indiscretions till it grew to become inconvenient. And as soon as that occurred, he modified sides and cashed in. I’ll allow you to resolve.