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 continued. “His attack on me is categorically false.” 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.