10/02/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

What McCain Didn't Know About Sarah Palin

A few days before John Kerry introduced John Edwards as his running mate, a select few members of Kerry's research staff were given five names, told to adopt the mindset of Republican opposition research, and to prepare a political dossier. What were the likeliest lines of attack that Republicans would use? What political pitfalls might the professional attorneys who conducted the vetting process have missed?


This year, the intense secrecy with which McCain advisor A.B. Culvahouse completed his vetting of Sarah Palin preserved the surprise. And ultimately, McCain aides say they're sure that the rewards will be worth the risks. But as the Palin pick turns 72 hours old, McCain's campaign is learning as much about her from the media and from Democrats as they are from what minimal political preparation they had.

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