Chalabi’s Lobbyist Was Sarah Palin’s Spy

Wow. I finally try to catch up on sleep all the angst about just how bad Sarah Palin was explodes.

Here’s a detail I’m particularly intrigued by:

One of the aides tells CNN that campaign manager Rick Davis fired [Randy] Scheunemann after determining that he had been in direct contact with journalists spreading "disinformation" about campaign aides, including Nicolle Wallace and other officials.

"He was positioning himself with Palin at the expense of John McCain’s campaign message," said one of the aides.

Remember the leaks blamed Nicole Wallace for Palin’s $150,000 wardrobe (which apparently was even more expensive than that)? Fred Barnes blaming Wallace specifically? And then Barnes apologizing, reporting that it had turned out she wasn’t the one who had bought the clothes?

Well, apparently Randy Scheunemann was the guy spreading that false rumor. And Rick Davis confirmed that and fired Scheunemann.

Hmmm. Randy Scheunemann spreading misinformation to the Weekly Standard to accomplish goals that went undercut the stated interests he was pursuing. Where have I seen that before?

Oh, I know, Ahmad Chalabi!!!! Scheunemann was an early paid booster of the guy who used disinformation to get us bogged down in Iraq.

The Neocons discovered Sarah on their cruise to Alaska. Almost immediately after they convinced McCain to choose her as a running mate, they became her chief advocates within the McCain campaign. And here we find out that they were the ones who started the civil war that embarrassed the McCain campaign in its final weeks.

I guess McCain now knows why the rest of us so distrust Neocons.

73 replies
  1. tryggth says:

    72 year old’s VP tabula rasa. Neocon wet dream. Who knew rogue was contagious? McCain bemoans ‘what do we really know about Sarah Palin?’

  2. bmaz says:

    Wait – McCain and his campaign was capable of being embarrassed at that point? And by silly little this? Oh my; I do feel for the poor dears…

    Schadenfreude ninety nine!

  3. Leen says:

    If these Republicans think they can run Sarah in four years they are mistaken. Too many people see right through the desperation and manipulation. Scheunemann seems intent on continuing the neocons theme of using mis-information. So wish the Obama campaign would close the doors to folks like this. But when Dennis Ross is as an adviser for Obama on the middle east… does not seem much will change. Sure wish Obama would take on Professor Norman Finkelstein of Prof Juan Cole as advisers on the middle east. The neo-cons would rebel maybe even get more violent than they have by pushing our nation into a war based on lies

    Have been out in the streets knocking, calling and video taping students and other voters in Athens, Nelsonville, and Columbus Ohio about their choice for President and why? So many of the young students (18-22) who were voting for McCain admitted that they were voting for McCain because that is the way their parents vote. They would often say that they were concerned about higher taxes ( I would repeat that Obama was not raising taxes on anyone making under 250,ooo) and then in the next breath say that their families were very religious. I would challenge them and ask if they were able to see that there was an obvious contradiction there. So concerned about paying more for others yet calling themselves Christians. So interesting.

    Some of the more interesting interviews were in mostly African American precincts downtown Columbus. Voters far more informed than the O.U. student voters and mostly white Appalachian voters. One of the greatest things that I witnessed near the Franklin Alternative School off of Broad St was 2 guys riding around in a beat up jalopy with all of the knocked out windows covered with plastic except for one where one fellow was shouting out of the window through a megaphone “Get out an vote for Obama”

    They pulled over to a small strip of grass where some young African American youth were playing touch football. Chants out of the car “Obama” the young kids began chanting “Obama OBama Obama” The chant went back and forth for five minutes. Everyone standing in front of the school and in ear shot joined the chant. What a defining moment in our history.

    Went to the very well attended Dem party at the Renaissance hotel in downtown Columbus. A real celebration. Governor Strickland and Senator Sherrod Brown were on fire with the win.

    • JThomason says:

      This get’s at the problem of calling Palin a “Fundamentalist”. It is not really descriptive and its somewhat misleading because it lends an air of a kind of religious legitimacy. I know the term was instructive from the 80’s in describing mid-eastern politics. Though unwieldy I think a better term is “the politically influenced self-identified religious” or something like that. I guess my point is, as you suggest, is that the term “fundamentalist” doesn’t get at the underlying hypocrisy.

  4. TobyWollin says:

    Hey, folks, I’m STILL waiting for her medical records to be released. What we got was a elementary school kid’s ‘doctor’s note’ – “Please excuse Sarah; she’s got five kids and runs a lot.” Sorry, Sarah – you were actually extremely lucky that you and McCain did NOT win – because the medical records thing is NOT going to go away.

  5. Leen says:

    A message chalked in on one of the sidewalks here at Ohio University “Hey dude do you really want to risk waking up with Sarah Palin one breath away from the Presidency”

    Many of the young students that I was able to talk with about the election were shocked by McCains pick. How the Republicans can win this vote with someone like Sarah is impossible from what I heard.

  6. pretzel says:

    Why do I have this weird feeling after reading all this stuff about the train wreck that was both Sarah Palin and the McCain/Palin ticket that this was a political suicide by John McCain?

  7. Ishmael says:

    Let’s not be too quick to bury Sarah Palin – do we really want to give up on the chance for Palin-Gingrich 2012? I’m not sure if the Palin bashing is coming from a vengeful John McCain, or the corporatists in the GOP who are trying to put a bullet in her prospects for 2012 or even a Senate run for Stevens seat.

  8. JimWhite says:

    I’m looking forward to the details on how McCain’s choice of ShortRide was overruled. Much as I despise LieberWeasel, that would have been the ultimate mavericky move. The real question comes down to why was McCain not in charge of his own campaign? Gambler that he is, wouldn’t he have taken the chance that he would lose some base and some funding in order to grab the uncommitted vote from the middle?

    • Mauimom says:

      I’m looking forward to the details on how McCain’s choice of ShortRide was overruled. Much as I despise LieberWeasel, that would have been the ultimate mavericky move.

      Did you find it as creepy as I did to see Smilin’ Joe behind McCain in every shot late in the campaign?

      Weird. Just weird.

  9. BoxTurtle says:

    If these Republicans think they can run Sarah in four years they are mistaken

    I’m betting they can and will run her. She’ll likely get taken out in the primaries, but she’ll move everything to the right.

    She’s photogenic. She’ll have a lot of quiet money backing her, who else is out there for the far right to support?. When she sticks to her talking points, she seems perfectly capable of working tame reporters and Fox is not going away.

    It’s not qualifications, it’s packaging. They sold America Bush the Lesser with significantly less than Palin brings to the table. McCain made it through the campaign with “noun verb POW”, she can likely do it with “Noun verb abortion”.

    Boxturtle (Against Newt “Noun verb taxes”)

    Boxturtle (

    • klynn says:

      Then you make sure in the primary, the other Repug candidates are doing TONS of unscripted press corps interviews/briefings…

      In the meantime, the press should try and still get unscripted press interviews.

  10. antibanana says:

    This story keeps getting stranger and stranger.

    I don’t know much about Randy Scheunemann other than what I’ve read here, but Wallace’s husband has fairly strong neocon credentials of his own. I doubt this is about neocons vs. mainstream Republicans.

    The McCain campaign staff are responsible for running an incompetent and disgusting campaign. Maybe this is mostly about career preservation.

    Who do you trust less? McCain staffers who used to work in the Bush White House or Sarah Palin? That’s a tough one for me.

  11. WilliamOckham says:

    I would like to suggest this post be retitled:

    Iran’s Spy’s Lobbyist was Sarah Palin’s Spy

    We need to remind folks that this guy was in the pay of a guy who was working for Iran. What spectacular judgement. Going from shilling for an Iran shill to shilling for Sarah “I thought Africa was a country” Palin.

    • BoxTurtle says:

      The Iranians have learned how easy it is to manipulate a Neocon and they’d like to see the USA take care of more of their issues. Next time we geta Neocon in the White House, I bet we go to war with the Saudi’s. Palin would be a new toy for them.

      Boxturtle (Our informant is code named “screwball”. He only speaks Farsi, but he’s solid gold)

  12. Loo Hoo. says:

    I’d love to know who the wealthy donor was for the wardrobe. And if Sarah really answered her hotel room door in a towel. (I can’t imagine Todd going along with that.)

    • klynn says:

      If both Todd and Sarah knew her deficits, manipulation by feminine wiles might be a strategy to sign on to, just for the initial strategic distraction…

      • BoxTurtle says:

        Todd was in the room. His wife with in the bathroom. HE didn’t get the door because….?

        1) He’s a TOTAL jerk.
        2) They planned it.

        Boxturtle (Smart money is on #1, I think. It’s a womans job to answer the door)

        • JThomason says:

          They are a strange pair. Their facial expressions walking off behind the curtain after McCain’s concession were priceless. Mr. Independence party had a distinct look of dismayed disgust, like what was all that graciousness about. Ms. Mooseprincess just looked a bit lost.

          • Badwater says:

            Palin and her toady were angry because the McCain side of the campaign would not allow her to deliver her own consession speech.

  13. PJEvans says:

    Via TPM: Scheunemann is saying that he wan’t fired and that he’s never been fired.
    Time to check his employment history?

    Loo Hoo, there apparently were a couple of reporters there for the towel incident. (She’s a narcissist: when she’s not paying attention to you, you don’t even exist for her.)

  14. BayStateLibrul says:

    My wife and I took a cruise to Alaska about five years ago.
    We had a jim-dandy-of-a-time.
    I’m wondering if I’d return… very strange dudes with Palin/Stevens
    at the helm…

    • JThomason says:

      The Alaskans I have met from the commercial fishing fleets are really first rate people, independent, open minded, aware. I am thinking the better angels just aren’t into to politics plus Exxon went out of its way to intimidate the population in the wake of the Valdez incident. I am thinking the political environment we are witnessing now probably is the fruit of that dynamic.

        • JThomason says:

          I don’t doubt it. I worked with one of the witnesses in preparing for testimony before the SJC on the corporate accountability issues framed in the context of Baker v. Exxon this past summer. The Valdez incident and the way Exxon attempted to handle it on the ground to minimize liability certainly had a major impact on the state. The role of the corporate political operatives was maximized in this environment.

          I suppose its the factor I am most familiar with besides liking the Alaskan fishermen and fisherwomen I have met.

          Remember Palin is the “energy” candidate add a dash of Sheunemann and maybe we get of the complexity of which you speak.

            • klynn says:

              Boy, that sounds GREAT!!! Like I said @14, the more unscripted press conferences the better.

              Keep going. Good for Phil too!

              I bet we could get the money together for a ticket for EW. And please, oh please, bring your video camera to those press conferences.

              Are you doing LTE in the papers to keep this request going? WE should start a national campaign of letters all over the country. Goodness, if her eyes are set on 2012, then we need to start now and demand the unscripted interviews. Each time she declines, MAKE the decline “the news.”

              Way to go EdwardTeller!

              • skdadl says:

                Oh, klynn, I’m glad you’re here. You left a comment on PrairieSunshine’s Oxdown that someone else asked you about, and I wanted to ask you too — where/when did the melty moment between the Obamas and the Bidens’ granddaughter occur?

                What I was watching as McCain and Co left the stage Tuesday night was himself and Cindy. He did it again, barely acknowledged her. He had made such a decent speech, but he did not seem like a changed man. I feel for that woman. I hope she is now free to live her own life.

                • bmaz says:

                  Um, yes, that was rather icy now wasn’t it? Whoo boy; lot of good money down the drain for Cindy, and the ingrate Sarah prancing around. She ain’t happy….

                • klynn says:

                  The moment happened as everyone was leaving the stage and heading behind the curtain. The Obamas stopped to let Biden’s little granddaughter go ahead of them and they just had the best smiles on their faces and that “little wrinkle of noses” when a little one is just too adorable for words. It was a quick moment but there was the cutest quick exchange of mutual admiration between the adults and child.

                  The brief, tender moment did not surprise me after watching Obama toss all of his water bottles to members of the crowd surrounding a person who passed out while he was speaking here in Columbus at his first Ohio rally after the convention. He followed the bottle toss with instructions on how to help the person and directed medics to the exact location of the individual.

                  People cannot fake these kind of moments.

            • bmaz says:

              But will you give her some salmon for me? She can keep it in the Mormon like emergency bmaz sundries locker (currently only holding some un-Mormon like Bourbon).

            • Mauimom says:

              Anyone want to pitch in to help pay emptywheel’s plane ticket to the conference? I’m at least halfway serious.

              I’m there. And Marcy, come on through Hawaii on your way “home.”

      • BayStateLibrul says:

        True, maybe the creepy POLs are freaking me out…
        I’m wondering if tourism will sink due to the wack jobs…

    • Leen says:

      Yeah how many felony counts on Stevens? And the folks in Alaska said yes to him again. What is going on up there?

  15. maryo2 says:

    The towel thing sounds shocking on first read, but in a hotel room/suite, shower on one side, clothes on the other…plus those guys were her assistants at that moment. She had a schedule to keep and they were there to help her with that schedule. So she walked across the room. No big deal.

    • mamayaga says:

      The kind of hotels Repubs stay in provide bathrobes. The whole display was planned — the Palins cannot have failed to have noticed the Rich Lowry effect, and they were happy to exploit it.

      • maryo2 says:

        You’re right, she most likely had a bathrobe, and Todd could have fetched it for her if necessary or the two men could have waited elsewhere. The Palins are gross.

  16. dustbunny44 says:

    Let’s hope they waste a lot of time and resources trying to put lipstick on that barbie. Where did it see yesterday a McCain team leak that during the debate preps she thought Africa was a country?
    We have nothing to fear from her.

  17. Loo Hoo. says:


    The call in North Carolina has finally been made. Barack Obama has been declared the winner of the traditionally Republican state’s 15 electoral votes which — bringing his total to 364.


  18. GregB says:

    That’s a cover charge for folks coming in from Massachusetts.

    You get a free cup at the state liquor store off of the highway for that toll!


  19. cbl2 says:

    EW, Christy, lhp, bmaz, and all interested Firedogs and Emptywheelers –

    some more tea leaves to read:

    WaPo is reporting David Ogden, DOJ Civil Div. chief under Clinton, has been named transition team leader for Justice

  20. eCAHNomics says:

    Here’s something to watch out for: the neocons will try to rejoing the Ds, now that they are the party in power.

    • Albatross says:

      Heaven forfend… That would make Holy Joe their primary liaison…

      I’m hoping that Palin does for the neocons what she did for Wasilla and John McCain…

    • Leen says:

      Dennis Ross has all ready been in there. Adelman jumped over. The push for pre-emptively attacking Iran is on.

  21. katymine says:

    My radio says that a heard of RNC lawyers is being parachuted into Alaska today to chaise down the Palin clothes, jewelery, luggage and other items that were charged to the RNC and other staffers.

    Haven’t seen the story anywhere but if anyone hears more…… this could get interesting……

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