Sarah Palin Chosen Out of 'Desperation'

Campaign strategist, authors discuss new book Game Change

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 11, 2010 4:21 AM CST | Updated Jan 11, 2010 7:52 AM CST

(Newser) – When Sarah Palin memorably asked Joe Biden, “Can I call you Joe?” during the vice-presidential debate, it was a strategy—but not the strategy everyone assumed. During debate prep, Palin kept referring to Biden as “O’Biden,” campaign strategist Steve Schmidt tells CBS. “When you had gone through the Tina Fey parodies, you certainly cannot be in a position where you walk onto the stage and refer to him repeatedly on national television as 'Senator O'Biden,'" he told 60 Minutes last night.

Schmidt’s interview included discussion of other Palin-related anecdotes from Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s Game Change:

  • Palin was chosen—over a dinner of “deep fried burritos”—out of “desperation” when the campaign realized Joe Lieberman was no longer an option.
  • McCain’s campaign manager found Palin while scouring the Internet for potential female candidates—and the book alleges that her background check consisted of one lawyer searching the Internet.
  • "In the immediate aftermath" of Palin's selection, "it was clear to us that we had a lot of work to do," Schmidt says. Heilemann goes further: "Her foreign policy tutors are literally taking her through, 'This is World War I, this is World War II, this is the Korean War. This is the how the Cold War worked.' Schmidt had gone to them and said, 'She knows nothing.’”
  • Why did Palin perform so poorly in the infamous Katie Couric interview? Schmidt says, “she did not prepare for it. She was focused that morning on answering 10 written questions from a small newspaper in Alaska called the Matsu Valley Frontiersman.”
For more Game Change gossip click here.

Then-Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, pumps her fist during her speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, file)
ISarah Palin is joined by John McCain and her daughter Piper at the end of her speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall,File)
In this image taken from video and provided by CBS, Sarah Palin, left, walks along the grounds of the United Nations with television news anchor Katie Couric, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008.   (AP Photo/CBS News, HO)
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Anderson Cooper reports on some of the information revealed in Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's "Game Change."   (CBS News)

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