The sniping between McCain staffers and Palin defenders has only gotten worse since Todd Purdum's lengthy Vanity Fair article slamming Sarah Palin came out. Now Politico's Jonathan Martin has come out with a piece in which the sniping has blown up into an all-out war inside the Republican party.
The piece is filled with on-the-record quotes from high-level and high-profile Republicans bashing each other, most prominently Bill Kristol going after McCain presidential campaign manager Steve Schmidt. Longtime McCain friend and adviser Mike Murphy went on "Hardball" tonight to discuss a segment the show billed as the GOP's 'Circular Firing Squad.
Murphy was fairly nonplussed, chalking it up to the "ghosts of a campaign that oughtta stay in the graveyard." He called these ghosts troubling," but "in the big picture I don't think this means a lot for the [Republican] party." However, with Democratic and progressive activists pushing the party to get more aggressive on passing their agenda, the last thing the GOP needs is for the news cycle to be dominated by nasty intra-party infighting from which everyone emerges looking bad.
Murphy also offered this outline for Palin's political future:
Three things are going to happen with Sarah Palin. She's either not going to run, and then she's not gonna matter much in national politics. Two, she is gonna run and do poorly, and then she'll matter a little but not a lot. Or three, she's gonna have the greatest comeback in American political history and get nominated. If the Sarah Palin that people perceive today is the one who's nominated in a few years I think we'd lose the election. But the very act of that kind of comeback that she would need to win the Republican nomination probably, again it's crystal ball stuff, might be a new and improved Sarah Palin. There's room to grow; she has a lot of natural talent. The problem is there's a lot of controversy... Right now most Americans don't perceive her as qualified to be President or someone they support.
Discuss in the comments which outcome you think is the most likely. Watch the interview below.