McCain Hires Strategist Who Smeared Him

Tucker Eskew, part of party's 'darker side,' attacked Mac in 2000
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 2, 2008 7:00 AM CDT
Tucker Eskew has been hired to ready Sarah Palin for the trail.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
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(Newser) – Republican strategist Tucker Eskew, who helped smear John McCain in the 2000 primaries, is now on board the GOP candidate’s campaign and will prep Sarah Palin for her role, reports Jake Tapper on ABC News. “He's one of the best and most collaborative talents in Republican politics,” a McCain rep tells Politico. McCain’s 2000 team was less appreciative.

That year, as George W. Bush’s South Carolina spokesman, Eskew was responsible for polling calls to voters alerting them to McCain’s connection to the Keating Five political scandal. As Bush turned to Eskew for help in the Florida recount, a 2000 McCain rep told Tapper, “When the going gets tough for Gov. Bush, he turns to the darker side of our party. We saw that in South Carolina, and we see that today."