Sarah Palin is acting like she's more concerned with Palin 2012 than McCain 2008, disgruntled McCain staffers tell CNN. They say the candidate is increasingly going off-message, including at a recent Florida rally where she addressed the $150,000 wardrobe controversy by declaring that the clothes "are not my property—just like the lighting and the staging and everything else that the RNC purchased."
"She is a diva," said one McCain aide. "She is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party." A Palin associate said the candidate was merely trying to "bust free" of what she sees as campaign mismanagement. A Republican strategist acknowledged that the campaign "mishandled" Palin early on. Still, he added, "she's definitely going to be the most popular Republican in this country when this thing is over."