‘PALIN DIDN’T KNOW AFRICA WAS A CONTINENT’: MCCAIN AIDES BEGIN REPUBLICAN MUD-SLINGING IN WAKE OF DEFEAT
Shopping spree: Palin’s wardrobe bill has appalled party insiders
Sarah Palin may have lost her bid to be Vice President – but she was still the talk of America last night.
She apparently did not know that Africa was a continent, not a country, and was also unable to name the nations in the vitally important North American Free Trade Agreement.
There are only three. Her own, its northern neighbour Canada and its southern neighbour Mexico.
The 44-year- old former Republican running mate’s lack of general knowledge – and a storm over her designer wardrobe – emerged as she returned to her home state of Alaska.
Extraordinary details of bitterness and jealousy between the Alaska governor and John McCain were laid bare following their White House defeat.
McCain aides complained that Mrs Palin refused to be coached before TV interviews – – even after it emerged she wasn’t sure about Africa’s status in the world.
Republican bosses also complained that Mrs Palin and her family spent even more on new clothes and shoes than previously reported.
One McCain aide described the Palin family shopping spree in some of America’s most exclusive department stores as ‘Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast.’
According to Newsweek magazine, a party donor who agreed to foot the clothes bill was expecting to pay out up to £15,000.
He was stunned when he received the bill for nearly £100,000. And that wasn’t even the whole tab, it was revealed yesterday.
Mrs Palin also allegedly leaned on some of her low-level handlers to put thousands of pounds worth of additional purchases on their personal credit cards.
Aides claimed a Republican Party lawyer is now being dispatched to Alaska to inventory the clothes and retrieve any still in the governor’s possession.
Divide: Sarah Palin watches as John McCain gives his concession speech early Wednesday morning. She allegedly wanted to speak during the speech, but was barred from doing so
Mrs Palin denied the claims yesterday, laughing of suggestions that she lived a ‘diva lifestyle’ in Alaska.
‘The knives are out and Sarah’s getting filleted,’ one U.S. television network reported yesterday.
The Republican contenders for president and vice-president barely spoke to each other in the lead-up to election day and indulged in a sixweek-civil war, it was claimed.
The ill-fated pair began to fall out only a fortnight later in mid-September, insiders revealed yesterday.
Just getting started: Sarah Palin waves to supporters as she returns home to Alaska… to shouts of ‘2012!’
Mrs Palin’s aides hit back, claiming she was naive about designer labels and outraged when she found out how much her suits and dresses cost. Spending by staff was reimbursed, they said.
They also revealed she was enraged by leaks from officials dubbing her a ‘whack job’ – slang for mad.
Last week’s hoax call from a Canadian comic who convinced her she was talking to French leader Nicolas Sarkozy caused fresh aggravation because she conducted diplomacy on the hoof – and then failed for three days to tell the McCain team she’d been hoodwinked.
The Alaska governor tried to counter backlash against her shopping spree by appearing in jeans on more than one occasion – including on the day she voted
There was a striking metaphor for the doomed partnership when the pair went their separate ways on Wednesday afternoon. Mr McCain, 72, drove himself away from their hotel base in Phoenix, Arizona, in his own Toyota.
But Mrs Palin and 18 family members left in a motorcade stretching to a dozen vehicles flanked by a dozen police motorcycle outriders.
It was more proof, according to McCain aides, that her ambition had stretched way beyond the job in hand as she focused on running for President herself in four years.
She had even intended to deliver her own speech just before Mr McCain’s concession address on Tuesday – an unprecedented move – before being firmly told it was out of the question.
PALIN LAYS LOW AS INTERVIEW REQUESTS PILE UP