Media Blog

She Was Vetted

AP reports:

McCain’s campaign has dispatched a team of a dozen communications operatives and lawyers to Alaska.
Steve Schmidt, a senior adviser, said the campaign always planned to send a “jump team” to the eventual running mate’s home state to work with the nominee’s staff, help with information requests from local and national reporters, and answer questions about documents that were part of the review.
Culvahouse said Palin’s review, like others, began with a team of two dozen people culling information from public sources. The team reviewed speeches, financial records, tax information, litigation, investigations, ethical charges, marriages and divorces, for a number of potential running mates.
For Palin specifically, the team studied online archives of the state’s largest newspapers, including the Anchorage Daily News, but didn’t request paper archives for Palin’s hometown newspaper for fear the secret review would become public.
Among the findings: Palin had once received a citation for fishing without a license.
Reports on each candidate — 40-some pages and single spaced — then were reviewed by McCain, Schmidt, campaign manager Rick Davis, and top advisers Mark Salter and Charlie Black.
Palin then was sent a personal data questionnaire with 70 “very intrusive” questions, Culvahouse said. She also was asked to submit a number of years of federal and state tax returns. The campaign also checked her credit.
Culvahouse then conducted a nearly three-hour interview. He said the first thing Palin volunteered was that her daughter was pregnant, and she also quickly disclosed her husband’s two-decade-old DUI arrest.
The public search also unearthed details of the Legislature’s investigation into the dismissal of Alaska’s public safety commissioner, allegedly because he would not fire Palin’s former brother-in-law as a state trooper.
Culvahouse said he asked follow-up questions, and “spent a lot of time with her lawyer” on the matter.
“We came out of it knowing all that we could know at the time,” he said.
Throughout the process, the campaign said, Davis had multiple conversations with Palin.

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