Palin and McCain: Once Two Peas In a Pod, Today Estranged Bedfellows

01/30/2012 12:17 pm ET | Updated Mar 31, 2012

Of course two people -- even if they were once on the same ticket for president and vice president of the United States -- can, three years later, change some of their views and root for and endorse different candidates in the GOP presidential primaries.

It happens to the best of us, and in the best of families, including husband and wife -- just look at James Carville and Mary Matalin...

Thus it should not be surprising to see, today, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, John McCain, fervently endorsing Mitt Romney for president and his running mate, Sarah Palin, just as enthusiastically endorsing Romney's opponent, Newt Gingrich.

When John McCain picked Sarah Palin to be his political soul mate, he said she would be the right partner to help him "stand up to those who value their privileges over their responsibilities, who put power over principle and put their interest before [the people's] needs," because, in McCain's words: "She is exactly who I need, she's exactly who this country needs, to help me fight -- to help me fight the same old Washington politics of me-first and country second."

In return, when accepting "the privilege of serving with a man who has come through much harder missions... and met far graver challenges and knows how tough fights are won -- the next president of the United States... " Sarah Palin heaped honor upon honor and accolade upon accolade on her newest idol, John McCain.

Our nominee for president is a true profile in courage, and people like that are hard to come by.


And then there is the idealism of those leaders, like John McCain, who actually do great things. They're the ones who are good for more than talk... the ones we have always been able to count on to serve and defend America. Our nominee doesn't run with the Washington herd.

Again, no surprise and nothing wrong to see these two who once would change the nation with their common ideals endorse different presidential candidates -- both candidates are, after all, Republican and both claim to be Conservative.

It is, however, interesting -- to say the least -- to see and hear how viciously each attacks the other's candidate or, in the case of Palin, the "elite establishment," an establishment her former hero and soul mate is -- willingly or reluctantly -- a part of.

John McCain blasted Newt Gingrich the other day, saying: "The fact is he was a failed speaker and was not sent back. He could not have been re-elected as Speaker of the House and his leadership style was a major factor in giving him lack of support for re-election as speaker."

According to CNN, McCain also accused Gingrich of "encouraging an explosion of earmarks that ultimately led to corruption in congress and for having a leadership style that would be problematic as president."

In a January 19 robocall in South Carolina, McCain ripped Gingrich as being "dangerous":

Newt Gingrich has experienced a lot of backlash over the last few days for his attacks on capitalism and Republican principles, and rightfully so ... He must have forgotten that Republicans stand up for free enterprise and a strong work ethic.


Newt Gingrich should know better than to use the dangerous anti-capitalism rhetoric used by the Democrats. He's using talking points straight out of Barack Obama's campaign playbook... It's finally time we sent him a strong message -- this behavior is unacceptable.

On her part, Sarah Palin on her Facebook page fiendishly attacks the "Cannibals in [the] GOP Establishment" who have "adopted the tactics of the left in using the media and the politics of personal destruction to attack an opponent" thereby explicitly or implicitly attacking her mentor and not-so-maverick-anymore, part of the "Republican establishment," John McCain.

Using some of Gingrich's now infamous dog whistles, Palin calls the GOP opposition to Gingrich, "nothing short of Stalin-esque rewriting of history ... Alinsky tactics at their worst ... This is why we need a fair primary that is not prematurely cut short by the GOP establishment using Alinsky tactics to kneecap Governor Romney's chief rival."

And Palin -- probably the least vetted vice-presidential candidate in American history -- says that, while she respects Romney (and his success), there are serious concerns about Romney's record and his conservative principles: "The questions need answers now... We need to vet this."

Finally, the "unvetted one" accuses the GOP establishment, while not sufficiently vetting Obama, of "using every available microscope and endoscope -- along with rewriting history -- in attempts to character assassinate anyone challenging their chosen one in their own party's primary."

As I mentioned before, I find it highly interesting and amusing that two people who only three years ago were as alike as two peas in a pod in how the GOP was going to change America, to take America back (from ...?), have now become such estranged bedfellows, ripping each other's candidate and their very same Party apart.

Perhaps the 2008 chemistry was not all ideological, or even political.

Perhaps there was some hidden strategy, which obviously went awry.

Perhaps their visions for America were never really the same.

Perhaps it was never meant to be.